African Princess by Princess Elizabeth of Toro - review by Ronald Mutebi

Ronald Mutebi

Ugandan Affairs

African Princess


Hamish Hamilton 230pp £9.95 order from our bookshop

London in the fashion – conscious 1960s was enchanted and enthralled by Elizabeth Bagaya. Black and beautiful, well – educated and urbane, above all she was pristine, a Princess of the blood royal, scion of an ancient ruling family – she was not just a pretty face off a boat from the sugar cane islands.

Naturally strong – willed, ambitious and equipped with a wide streak of vanity it was no real surprise that her career as a model should have been such a triumph. It helped, of course, if one had patrons such as Princess Margaret and Lord Harlech, Hugh Fraser and Jacqueline Kennedy. Nevertheless, she had arrived in England a penniless refugee, forced out of her homeland after her brother, The Omukama (King) of Toro, had been deposed by Milton Obote along with the three other monarchs in Uganda. After a few months of destitution in London it was all glamour and glory.

From being penniless and roofless I came to have a choice of three homes. Apart from Joan Vickers’ spacious flat adjoining the Houses of Parliament, Peter Tapsell gave me his children’s former nanny’s room in the Albany: a French Count lent a flat in Paris: and later

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