The new king of Rwanda has been named as a council flat tenant in Manchester, it has been revealed. Father-of-two Emmanuel Bushayija, 56, has been named King Yuhi VI after the death of his uncle King Kigeli V three months ago aged 80. The previous king had lived in the US and did not have any children, naming his nephew as his successor.
According to an official statement by the Rwandan Royal Council of Abiru, Mr Bushayija - who runs a security company - was exiled with the previous king and the royal family in 1961 when the country became a republic following a referendum.
Tensions arose because of ethnic differences between the royals and the new president, and Mr Bushayija grew up in Uganda, eventually getting a job with Pepsi Cola.
He has lived in the UK since 2000 and now lives in a house in Sale owned by a housing association.
King Kigeli died without any children in relative poverty and is understood to have been living on food stamps in the US.
Announcing his ascension on Monday, the official statement said: ‘The Chancellery and Royal Council of the de jure Kingdom of Rwanda are pleased to announce the successor to H.M. King Kigeli V, the last king to reign in Rwanda.’
Council Chancellor Boniface Benzinge said king Kigeli V named Mr Bushayija as successor in 2006 and signed a document ‘witnesses by multiple people and notarised and filed with an attorney’.
The chancellor said: ‘The Rwandan Royal Council of Abiru Hereby informs all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda that in keeping with the ancient custom, it has Acclaimed His Royal Highness Prince Emmanuel Bushayija as the Successor of His Late Majesty King Kigeri V Ndahindurwa, who passed away on October 16, 2016, in the United States.
‘The Royal name of His Majesty Emmanuel Bushayija shall be His Majesty King Yuhi VI.
His Majesty King Yuhi VI Bushayija is the son of His Royal Highness Theoneste Bushayija and grandson of His Majesty King Yuhi V Musinga.’
Mr Bushayija has also lived in Kenya where he worked in the tourism industry, and returned to Rwanda in 1994 before coming to Britain.
The previous king vowed never to return to his home country unless he could resume the throne, something President Kagame, who helped end the genocide of 1994, said would not happen.
In 2015 the president changed his country’s laws so he could serve a third term in power.
The new king of Rwanda being a council house tenant in Manchester is just one of several examples of unlikely people finding themselves in positions of great honour.
Last month a former Argos security guard who worked in the store on London's Holloway Road was elected president of Gambia.
Adama Barrow spent his early years tackling shoplifters at the store before moving back to his home country where he became a successful estate agent.
Meanwhile King Michael of Romania, who was twice forced to step down as monarch of his country, came to the UK via Switzerland after being forced into exile in 1947 by a communist government.
He and his wife lived in Hampshire between 1950 and 1956, where they raised chickens, before eventually settling in Switzerland.
King Michael attempted to live a non-royal life by starting an electronics firm and working as a test pilot, but later admitted his heart was 'never in it'.