The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Komuntale Says 'I Do' in Splendour

  The long awaited day for the entire Toro kingdom has finally come. The kingdom has not had a royal wedding in many years and this one ... ( Resource: The Royal Wedding in Uganda

The long-awaited wedding of Tooro's Princess Ruth Komuntale and her American sweetheart Christopher Thomas took place on Saturday at St John's Cathedral Kabarole.

It was stuff fairytales are made of. Thomas arrived with his brother and best man Williams Thomas at 11am. The central government was represented by none other than the Vice President Edward Ssekandi, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, among others.

From Buganda Kingdom, the Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi who was officiating at the closing of the Masaza football cup at Nakivubo, was represented by his Katikkiro J.B Walusimbi, Nnaabagereka Sylvia Nagginda and Princess Katrina Ssangalyambogo, who was also part of the bridal entourage.

Komuntale, who met Thomas in the USA where she attended the American University, turned up in an ordinary fleet of Mercedes Benzes, although there was nothing ordinary about her spectacular, lacy, heavily beaded and stones-encrusted wedding gown. The gown was made by a Ugandan living in the UK.

The sparkle in her beautiful eyes was accentuated by the stones in the snow white gown with a fairly long train. Her thick black mane was let down through a diamond and pearls tiara. She looked stunning. The fully-packed cathedral hardly had space in the aisles as her younger brother - also King of Tooro - Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru walked her to her waiting fiancé at the altar.

The thankfully short church ceremony was presided over by outgoing Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Henry Luke Orombi, whose sermon later became the highlight of the church service. He was assisted by the Rwenzori diocese bishop, Reuben Kisembo. Most of the female guests chose to come draped in the Tooro traditional suuka while the men kept it simple with suits.

The groom wore an off-white suit, bow tie and shoes with a lilac, waistcoat and white shirt. The two played their parts to perfection before a crowd of hundreds that turned up at the church and a live television audience courtesy of UBC TV. They did not stumble over the wedding vows and the rings slid onto their fingers effortlessly.

We all waited with bated breath for the part where the main celebrant says, "you may kiss the bride." It didn't come until later at the Karuzika palace when Yours Truly boldly asked the royal couple to kiss during a brief photo session. Kate Middleton and Prince William did, Diana and Prince Charles did it; so, this fairytale wedding would not have been complete without it.

The speeches:

The speeches were full of emotion. The queen mother Best Kemigisa thanked president Museveni and Col Muammar Gaddafi (RIP) for being there for the children after their father Omukama Patrick Olimi Kaboyo passed away.

"It's unfortunate that both of you are not here to witness this occasion," she said.

The Omukama Oyo Nyimba broke the silence on the issue of her sister marrying outside her tribe. He said Princess Ruth was attracted by the blood relationship to Thomas, whose ancestors hailed from Africa. He hailed his sister for helping Thomas return to his roots.

The couple later danced to Mariah Carey's We Belong Together before the king, queen mother and Buganda's Nnaabagereka joined the dance. There is no doubt the ever so jolly Thomas is a good dancer and if it were not for being before royalty, he clearly would have given us some off-the-hook dance moves. Those who could not access the palace followed events on Events Warehouse's giant screens set on the palace's hill overlooking Fort Portal town.

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InFocus

Uganda's Royal Princess Says I Do

It was the stuff fairytales are made of as Princess Ruth Komuntale and her American fiance Christopher Thomas said "I do" at St John's Cathedral Kabarole. Read more »