Mid Wales

Zulu prince at 50th anniversary screening of film

Screen grab from Zulu
Image caption The Zulu film set was an 'oasis' from Apartheid, according to cast member Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Zulu Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi is among those attending the 50th anniversary screening of the film Zulu.

Buthelezi starred as his own great-grandfather King Cetshwayo, but could not attend the original premiere because of restrictions imposed by the apartheid government.

He was joined by Prince Harry and Welsh actor Sir Stanley Baker's widow.

The event was raising money for charities helping wounded soldiers and African children.

The screening is a digitally re-mastered version of the 1964 film starring Sir Michael Caine, which recounts the battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879, when some 150 British soldiers - many from Wales - held off around 4,000 Zulu tribesman whose land they had invaded.

Image caption Prince Harry pets Shenkin, the regimental mascot of the Royal Welsh ahead of the screening in London
Image caption The prince also received a hug from a fan as he made his way down the red carpet
Image caption Prince Buthelezi (centre) played his own great-grandfather in the film 50 years ago
Image caption Victoria Cross recipient Johnson Beharry (centre) was also on the red carpet

Lady Ellen Baker said it would be "lovely" to see Buthelezi again.

She said: "We formed a great friendship."


Buthelezi, 85, who played his own great-grandfather in the film, has described how the set was an "oasis" where "whites and blacks could mingle without any fuss".

Lady Ellen said Sir Stanley, who took the lead role as well as co-producing the film, had been determined to treat the warrior extras in the film with respect - despite its location in apartheid South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.

"Stanley had to be very skilful and diplomatic," said Lady Ellen, whose husband was from Ferndale, Rhondda. "It was the height of apartheid."

Funds raised at the Leicester Square Odeon screening are going to Walking with the Wounded, Sentebale and The David Rattray Memorial Trust.

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