CALDICOT Male Voice Choir performed for a royal audience recently when the King of the Zulu Nation visited Wales.

King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu's visit marked the 140th anniversary of the Anglo-Zulu war, fought in South Africa in 1879.

The King visited Brecon to commemorate those who died in the war, including at the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift – the latter clash the subject of the 1964 film Zulu.

Following a military parade, Caldicot Male Voice Choir were invited to sing N’Kosi Sikele Afrika, the national anthem of South Africa; Hen Wlad fy Nhadau, and God Save the Queen as part of a beating retreat ceremony.

"We sang in front of the King, who was flanked by his bodyguards of Zulu warriors," choir member Lyn Gauntlett said. "The King was very complimentary [of the performance].

"It was a real honour and a privilege to do it."


Mr Gauntlett said the choir had previously sung the South African anthem when Wales played the Springboks in a rugby match at the then-Millennium Stadium several years ago, but many of the newer members had to learn the words – no easy feat considering the anthem contains verses in Xhosa and Afrikaans, as well as English.

This isn't the first time the Caldicot choir has performed for royalty – previous concerts were done for The Queen, the Duchess of York, and the Prince of Wales.