What you need to know:
- Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu led as Queen Mutesi formally started her phenomenal transition from ordinary to wife of a sovereign for Busoga’s 11 chiefdoms.
Jovia Mutesi has officially earned her place in royalty after saying "I do" to the monarch, becoming Busoga’s 5th queen through a church service of century Anglican canons followed by ancient cultural rituals and majesty at the palace.
On his father-in-law Stanley Bayoole’s 49th birthday, 35-year-old Gabula Nadiope IV became the 1st-ever king to be wedded at the Busoga Diocesan’s iconic headquarter Christ’s Church Cathedral in Jinja City’s Bugembe Township.
At about 1:43pm on November 18, 2023, the world’s latest wed king recited vows with Mutesi, then the couple exchanged rings nearly 10 minutes later in a sacred symbol of eternity.
Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu led as Queen Mutesi formally started her phenomenal transition from ordinary to wife of a sovereign for Busoga’s 11 chiefdoms.
With reference to the biblical Genesis, Kaziimba emphasised to his flock that marriage “should only be between one man and one woman not man and man or woman and woman.”
“This wedding has made a statement that this kingdom celebrates marriage. Even President Museveni and Janet at their 50th wedding anniversary made a statement that Uganda respects marriage,” he added.
Vice President Jessica Alupo was part of a congregation dominated by a collection of politicians, top public figures and royalty from all over Uganda and beyond- in a largely outdoor service under giant tents, around the diocese established 1972.
“All cultural leaders should use their status to urge unity both in Uganda and at the East African level. We’re all descendants of other indigenous African people,” Alupo read from President Museveni’s remarks to the Basoga whose routes are traced in a distant Bunyoro Kingdom.
The service featured a choir of at least 100 members trumpeting a blend of modern and cultural liturgy, amid an estimated more than 2,000 guests, mostly bussed to the regal event.
Outside church, an estimated over 10 million people followed proceedings broadcast on all of Uganda’s leading televisions and watched by record-high numbers across known locations in the monarchy.
Before church, masses chanted approbation while they queued streets and building apexes, viewing and waving at the groom and bride on their procession routes from Kamuli and Mayuge District respectively.
Aware of existential terror threats, Uganda deployed on the Nile waters and on ground --- with hundreds of police, soldiers and Special Forces surveying with a Jinja bird’s-eye view.
The historic church gathering ended successfully with a thunderous chorusing of the “guide me oh my redeemer.”
'Change of plan'
On Saturday evening, crowds overwhelmed security to trail the royal couple making its way to the royal reception at the kingdom's magnificent Igenge Palace on a six-wheeled improvised cart and welcomed to a traditional drum fanfare.
Towards 11pm on the same day, the king called on his subjects to unite for the kingdom's continued progress as he also re-vowed to "love his wife until the end of time."
The queen prayed that monarchists do not split as she pledged to be "a good mother for all in accordance with norms."
A last gasp change of plan implied the newlyweds would not hold planned processions through town due to "security threats."
"We don't want the Kyabazinga to wed and then fail to save his life," Busoga prime minister Joseph Muvawala told journalists.
Kyabazinga Nadiope IV, born November 1, 1988 is grandson to Uganda's Vice President Wilson Gabula Nadiope III wed Josephine Nadiope.
Mutesi, a 1st-born daughter of a Resident District Commissioner, becomes queen after four others since 1939 and these are Yunia Nakibande, Susan Nansikombi Kaggwa, Yuliya Babirye Kadhumbula Nadiope, and Alice Florence Violet Muloki.
Official information suggests the first and last time Busoga had a royal wedding was in February 1956 as Henry Wako Muloki married Alice Kintu Muloki.