Lancashire

Barrow pub sees surprise visit from African king

King Letsie III 9second from left) Image copyright Anthony Forsythe
Image caption The king (second left) was on a private visit to the UK

A pub's regulars received a royal surprise when an African monarch dropped in for a pint.

His majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho turned up at the Bay Horse Inn in Barrow, east Lancashire, to meet an old school friend.

The 55-year-old monarch met with ex-classmate Anthony Forsythe, who he got to know at Ampleforth School, North Yorkshire.

Landlady Sue Driver said "We never expected anything like this."

She added: "It was quite a shock."

The king arrived in a black limo and mixed with locals, as well as his friend.

Ms Driver said the king already has a link with the pub, as a Lesotho national team football shirt signed by him is proudly displayed in the pub.

"The king sent it to Anthony and he gave it to us so we had it framed," she added

Image copyright Bay Horse Inn
Image caption A framed shirt from King Letise III is displayed in the pub

Mr Forsythe was not available to talk about his classmate.

A spokesman for the Lesotho High Commission said the king was making a private visit to the UK.

King Letsie III succeeded his father, King Moshoeshoe II, who was dethroned in 1990.

Five years later, after the return to civilian government and amid political instability, he abdicated and his father was reinstated as monarch.

Letsie III was restored as king in 1996 after his father died in a car accident. The monarch has no legislative or executive powers.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption King Letise III met Anthony Forsythe when the pair studied at Ampleforth School

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