Ah, the natural seat of a King and a Queen – The Maldives! I sure would merrily sit on my coral throne and shuffle bejewelled feet in the white white sands of these islands were I ever coronated for a Monarch!
Alas the tropical Maldivian Monarchy ended many moons ago (along with my fantasies to take over as its Queen), when a Republic and its stuffy seats of Parliament replaced the cushions of a throneroom.
On 11 November 1968, Ibrahim Nasir was proclaimed the First President of the Second Republic (the First Replublic of 1953 was shortlived after a mere eight months when Amin Didi was overthrown and a Sultanate was formed once again).
In 1978 Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom was elected the President of the Maldives. He has been the President for the past 26 years. It is to Mr. Gayyoom’s gloriously unspoilt islands that I journeyed during the Northern Winter of 2012…