A United Kingdom (2016) Script

My dear nephew... as your uncle and guardian, my task is to inform you that is now time for you to return home to Bechuanaland.

To use the knowledge that you have gained from your time in England to ensure the advancement of our people, our nation.

You left a boy, now you must return a man.

Arrangements have begun.

I am filled with joy for our reunion and our future.


Seretse, are you okay? Teach him a lesson.

You monkey!

You didn't see that coming.

That was not a fair fight. You were too predictable.

Come on. We'll be late for class.

I'm going nowhere, getting no place

♪ Making no time with nobody ♪

♪ No, baby ♪

♪ Nobody, but you. ♪

Can you draw up my dress?

I saw Teddy at the bus stop.

He's been so down, since you ended it with him.

Oh, well, he knows it's for the best. We wanted different things.

Is that what you're wearing tonight?

Muriel, I can't go to the Missionary Society dance.

They're your friends, not mine. Oh, come on.

Indians will go to their beds as subjects of the Queen, and awake to a new day.

The next day they'll awake to wish we were running the place again.


See you later. Are you going, Ruth?

Yes, Dad. What for?

She's keeping me company.

Well, mind yourselves. Hmm, don't come back a missionary.

Ah, Muriel! Thank you. We are a little short this evening.

Oh, I've brought my sister, Ruth.

How nice of you to come.


Would you like to dance with me? Of course, Ade.

It would never happen. It's futile.

So, there'll be bloodshed.

A fight doesn't always have to be about violence.

Understand the imperialist mind, and you can out manoeuvre it.

Isn't that why we are all here?

There is an Africa that doesn't have to be about white or black exclusion.

An Africa that is about unity, inclusion and equality.

That's the original idealist!

Would you like to dance?

Thank you very much.

What's this song supposed to be?

I don't know, but they are utterly butchering it.

I've been trying to work out the melody since they began.

Sorry. I...

I do love jazz, but I've never trusted an Englishman to play it.

Would you like to dance?

Rather lively, wasn't it?

It was good fun. Where's he from?

Oh, everybody adores Seretse.

He's over from Bechuanaland.

What's he studying? Law. Like the rest.

Just looking at this claim. A small error, if you could just do it again...


Oh, there's a parcel for you over there.

Who is Mr Khama?

Oh, my goodness.

♪ I'm gone buzzing. ♪ Ruth!

He's invited me to a dance.

He says he can get another ticket if you'd like to take me.

I wouldn't like to take you.

I haven't danced like that since I left home.

Well, then I'm so pleased we're doing this.

I'm so pleased to have agreed to come to a dance with a man I know nothing about!

Who are you, Mr Khama?

Well, I, uh...

I grew up with my little sister, Naledi.

Our mother and father died when... I was three.

Oh, that's...

Oh, no, no, no. We, we were raised by my uncle.

He's like a father to us. We've been very fortunate.

How about you? If I...

If I were to ask you to tell me something about you I couldn't possibly guess?

We were evacuated to the countryside, Muriel and I, but I couldn't bear the boredom.

So I asked them to take me at Friston, the airfield.

I drove the crash ambulance for them.

Ferrying the injured fighter pilots.

I looked it up, you know, your country.

The size of France and 121,000 inhabitants.

And one of the poorest countries in the world.

Is that right?

We asked for the protection of Queen Victoria.

And she agreed. Eventually.

It was that, or face invasion from a racialist South Africa.

Sounds like no choice at all. What is the saying?

"No man is free, who is not master of himself."

I wish we could see the stars.

They take your breath away back in Bechuanaland.

It never fails to astonish me.

You are cold.

We should stop here.

My father, he wouldn't approve.

I'm just two streets away. Can we do this again?

I mean, meet?

Is that too forward of me?


No, it... What?

Queen Victoria...

The man who negotiated for her protection of Bechuanaland... he was my grandfather.

A king.

I am his heir.

For more than 20 years, my uncle has been on the throne as regent preparing me to rule.

My education is now complete, and it is time for me to return.

Oh. I see.

Thank you. Thank you for explaining.

Not simply disappearing.

I quite understand.

I have had a wonderful evening.


No, I-I-I don't think you do understand.

I don't know what happened tonight.

But I do know that I would hate to walk away from you here in this moment, knowing that I wouldn't see you again.

Well, then you must.

See me again, I mean.

Uh, Mr Khama?

Thank you.

Father will hate him on sight.

He's clever than him and he's black.

Oh! Yes, yes, yes!

Have you ever been in love?


And then Ruth Williams came along.

Look, it's a coon.

Out of the zoo for a night.

Scum! Ignore him.

Look who's talking! Cheap slut!

That's enough. Yeah?

Seretse... Don't!

Ruth... Oi! Get your black hands off what's ours!

I'm not yours!

Stop it! Get off him.


Black bastard!

Move back!


Oh, Ruth.

They're yobs. You can't let them get to you.

No, I'm not even giving them a second thought.

Then what is it?

It scares me a bit.

The way he makes me feel.

Ruth, he has to go back to his own country.

I know.

Just let me enjoy it while it lasts.

Am I late? No. No, not at all.

Is something the matter?

I have been... thinking about my responsibilities back home in Bechuanaland.

There is so much that I need to do there.

But I know that I will never achieve anything worthwhile... if I leave my heart here.

Uh, I'm not asking for an answer this, this very second.

All I, all I ask of you is that you... go away and, and think about it, because, uh, there... there is a lot to think about.


I don't need to think about it.

I know I love you.

And I know what you're asking.

What it means.

And yes.


Yes, Seretse, I will marry you.

White? British? Oh, God.

And she's a salesman's daughter!

I don't care if her mother sells fish in the market! I love her!

Aren't you supposed to ask for your uncle's consent before you ask for her hand?

And your people?

Dear Uncle...

I realise this won't please you.

You and the tribe won't like it.

I have asked an Englishwoman to marry me.

A white woman.

It will not happen.

It will.

What in God's name is wrong with you?

At least Muriel only wants to convert them!

I've said yes.

She might change her mind, George. She won't!

Mum, I've met the man I want to spend my life with.

And how many other wives do you think he's already got, eh?

You disgust me. George, don't.

You think about this, Ruth.

You marry a black, you make it impossible for us.

For your mother, for Muriel.

You may choose a life of insults and shame... but what about us?

We've only ever loved you.


I can't see you again.

Not if you choose him.

This... is not how I wanted it to be.

You separated from your family.

I have fears, Ruth.

Not just about this, but... my uncle.

You can't take us all this way to tell me you have fears!

Not for me, for you!

For everything I am asking you to sacrifice.

Can you... even imagine a life in Africa?


We'll take it moment by moment, won't we?


Morning, ladies.

An early tea break for you all.

I need to speak to Miss Williams.

Ruth, uh, there's a gentleman to see you.

Good morning.

I'll leave you to it.

Sir Alistair Canning.

I am the British Government representative in southern Africa.

And yet I find myself in London today.

Because it is my duty to inform you that Mr Seretse Khama has been gravely mistaken in believing he may take you as his wife.

A marriage between you cannot take place.

A chief cannot simply come to London, and pluck a girl out of a typing pool.

I'm not a typist.

Any union between you and Mr Khama will have implications for the not-insignificant neighbouring countries of Bechuanaland.

Not least South Africa, the prime minister of which is currently enshrining into law the policy of...

The policy of apartheid.

Do you know this word?


No. Well, it is this...

The black must live separately from the white.

He must attend his own school, hospital, church, and he must never conjoin with a white woman.

Your entry in Africa with him would be seen as a flagrant disregard for the current political climate.

It would be an act more powerful than your limited experience will allow you to comprehend.

We have already heard the presidents of South Africa, southwest Africa and the Rhodesias.

Yet all demanding that this marriage not take place.

As a matter of diplomatic necessity.

I take it you need no more from me to confirm that you will not marry this man.

I will confirm nothing of the kind.

Have you no shame?

The British administration may dictate many things in my country, but they will not dictate who I marry.

They are trying to define us, based on their rules, their idea of the world, and how they see it.

Seretse, do you hear yourself?

These men are at the very top of government. They're powerful.

Muriel, stop interfering. Stop it! Both of you!


Father won't talk to you.

You're called a whore in the street, and now this.

You know how much I love Seretse.

But you don't have to do this.

Muriel, I've never wanted anything like I want this.



Mr Khama.

Good morning.

Sir Alistair Canning.

How do you do?

I believe you've met my fiancée, Ruth Williams.

Indeed. Sir.

We are told you can provide us with some information, Sir Alistair.

Well, if I can, then I most certainly will.

Who exactly has asked you to interfere with my wish to marry?

I will tell you... exactly.

I received advice from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was instructed by the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, who was himself instructed by the solicitor, Douglas Buchanan, who was, in turn, instructed by his client, your uncle, Tshekedi Khama.

So, you see...

everyone here, and in southern Africa, is acting entirely according to the wishes... of your uncle.

I knew he wouldn't take it well, that he'd be angry with me, but why is he allowing himself to be used by them?

It's only you and I who want us to be together.

No one else.

You are the only one I want to spend my life with.

There's nothing in law that says we cannot marry.

Have you got the rings?

It is with pleasure I pronounce you man and wife.

May I offer you my congratulations?

Thank you so much.

Mrs Khama...

Mrs Khama, do you intend to learn the native language?

I will try, yes. And I will give her plenty of help.

Mr Khama, I hear your tribe are rebelling against you bringing a white queen home, according to South Africa this morning.

South Africa has her own agenda.

Perhaps you should report on that.

Thank you. That'll be all.


It's exaggeration. It has to be.

Bechuanaland chief from the southern African British protectorate...

Office girl, Ruth Khama, will travel to Africa...

Bechuanaland will meet their new queen...

Mrs Khama... welcome.

Will your family be coming to visit?


Sir Alistair Canning wants to meet before I see my uncle.

Good afternoon, sir.

I have special dispensation as the king.

But we use a different entrance.

Mr and Mrs Khama.

Welcome, Mrs Khama.

Thank you.

We didn't want to leave it too long before Ruth could see her new home.

What would you like to drink, Mrs Khama?

Gin and lime would be lovely.

We have lemonade for you, Mr Khama.

You are aware of the prohibition of alcohol for blacks in Bechuanaland?

Well, if my husband is having lemonade, then I will have lemonade.

Ah, here he is! It's our new district commissioner, Mr Rufus Lancaster.

How do you do, Mr Khama?

A pleasure.

Mrs Khama. How do you do?

Let me pour you that lemonade.

I've asked Mr Lancaster along to give you an assessment of affairs in Serowe, in light of your meeting at the kgotla, Mr Khama.

You would like to tell me how my people are feeling?

80% of the people support your uncle's refusal to accept your wife as queen of your tribe.

May I ask how you arrived at that figure, Mr Lancaster?

We are recommending that you resign any claim to the chieftainship, and that you announce that fact to your tribe with a meeting.

The kgotla, Sir Alistair, is the place where our tribal decisions are made, where every man has his say.

There, and only there, can the support or dissatisfaction of my people be measured.

Where they will decide whether they wish for me to remain king.

I believe you call it democracy.

Mr Khama, you understand the risks you're taking.

You're forcing the tribe to take sides.

This could cause a dangerous divide.

Make your country... ungovernable.

And it would open up South Africa's claim to annex Bechuanaland.

Britain has long prevented it.

But for how much longer?

Lancaster just about got through the evening without calling me an ungrateful nigger.

Can they really hand over an entire country just like that?

They wouldn't risk it.

Malan's regime has very little support from the British public.

But you're worried.

You know, I've seen the news reels. I know what's happening in South Africa.

It's poison, and it's already affecting you here.

That sign outside.

You have those in England too.

I know.

No blacks, no Irish, no dogs.

But I didn't expect it in your own country.


It's your first night in Bechuanaland. I don't want you to be sad.

Let us not allow the ugliness of this world to take our joy away from us.



Shh, shh. What?

Can you hear that? It's the music from the bar.

Dance with me.

Whoo! Oh!

What...? Ah!

My home.

Our home.

White woman.

Is that your mother?

Uh, no. No, that is my Uncle Tshekedi's mother.

That is me on the day he became a regent.

Uncle... this is Ruth.

I'm very pleased to meet you, sir.

I will speak to my nephew alone.

Refreshments will be provided for her in the house.

Over two decades of preparing you to be our king, and this is how you face me.

A white woman by your side.

Uncle... Are you trying to tear us apart?

I am Naledi, Seretse's sister.


Seretse's told me so much. Please don't.

Why would you do this to us?

To yourself?

Be somewhere and be something that makes no sense to you?

Look at them.

They are fighting because of you.

I mean you no harm.

Do you understand what mother, mother, of our nation means?

I married Seretse's uncle knowing my responsibility.

That one day Seretse's wife would be chosen from our nation, and I would hand over to her.

We have waited years for the day we would see her rule by his side.

Your first duty is to your people.

Your nation.

Seretse, you're a son to me.

Please... be my son.

I will entertain you in my home, if that is my husband's wish.

But don't insult us.

It's... audacious of you to come here, and present yourself married, as if it were your right to be our queen.

Who do you think will accept you? The men?

I... Us? The women?

To have a white woman who we must love and trust and respect as our sovereign?


You belong to the whites, but they won't want you, either.

You insult us all.

Let him go.

We need him more than you.

You will obey me, and you will divorce her!

No, sir.

I will not.

Then listen to me, boy.

You will stand up in the kgotla tomorrow... and you will renounce your birthright.

And any right to the throne.

We've misjudged this, haven't we?

Would the British have accepted it if Princess Elizabeth had come here, and taken one of us as her husband?

A negro king of England. Can you imagine?

She would have been refused!

Every right on her claim to the throne removed from her!

Just as we must refuse my nephew here!

If he does not divorce this white woman!

Seretse... honour your people.

Do not belittle your kingdom!

Over there in the royal burial ground lies my father... his father and his father before him.

If I had married a woman of my uncle's choosing, he would, this day, proudly be confirming me king, and the line of royal succession, centuries old, would remain unbroken.

I am proud of my lineage, and I respect my uncle.

But he does not have the right to decide on my succession to the throne.

I believe the people, and only the people, should have that right.

My commitment to you has never diminished.

But I am told that you no longer wish for me to honour my duty to serve you as your king because of the colour of the wife I have chosen.

South Africa's racialist disease has infected all our neighbouring countries and us.

Look around you.

Our schools, hospitals, churches all segregated in practice, if not in law.

Are we now to uphold the abomination that is apartheid in our own kgotla?

The very same abomination that has been oppressing us for decades?

Is this to be the future for our Africa?

We should not be fighting for segregation.

We should be fighting for equality.

That is where we should be focusing our minds, not on the wife I have chosen, who means you no harm, whose only apparent crime has been to fall in love with me!

And mine to fall in love with her.

I cannot serve you without her by my side.

But I cannot force you to accept this.

Africa can never be free, until all those who live in her, white and black, recognise that race must have no bearing on equality and justice.

I am ready to serve you because I love my people.

I love this land!

But I love my wife.

And I shall respect your will.

Those who want Seretse as king, raise your hand.

Pula! Pula!

Pula, pula, pula!

Pula, pula, pula!

Pula, pula, pula, pula.

Ma, what are they shouting?


It means "rain".

They're celebrating.

Pula, pula, pula!

Accept the vote and conclude the meeting.




The British are not your allies.

I know exactly what I'm doing, and why I'm doing it.

Do you, Seretse?

Do you think she is your ally?

Your grandfather had no option, but to allow outsiders to rule us, but you... you bring this one to rule our tribe by choice.

What you are doing is demeaning to your own people.

This has nothing to do with love!

So next time you look in the mirror, ask yourself this:

Were you not a king, would she ever even looked at you?

Now she knows there's no Buckingham Palace in Serowe, how long before the village dust gets in her eyes?

Now you will see how an empire defends itself, Mr Khama.

Where will he go?

He will start a new settlement somewhere.

It's our way to avoid conflict.

We stay apart, but we stay at peace.

Let me show you the blood lilies.

Something to discuss? Indeed.

Come. We shall leave the men to it.

My wife is capable of hearing what the commissioner has to say, Mrs Lancaster.

As you wish.

Though what I have to say she may not want to hear.

Oh, but I do.

There is going to be a delay in our acknowledgment of your position as tribal chief.

Your uncle is questioning your legitimacy.

There is nothing to be questioned in the decision of the kgotla.

The approval of the kgotla was for your position as chief, not the suitability of your wife.

I made it quite clear that a vote for me was also a vote for my wife.

They knew what they were voting for.

Did they?

Mr Khama, Sir Alistair Canning wants to be fair about this.

It should reassure you to know that he has appointed the Chief Justice of the High Commission Territory, Sir Walter Harragin, to conduct an enquiry.

Into what? My wife?

An enquiry that will prove that our marriage has riled South Africa?

South Africa is not the issue.

Sir Alistair looked me square in the eye in London and said that it was.

Well, then you clearly misunderstood.

Seretse, do I look like a fool to you?

Not in the slightest.

Commissioner, to keep up this false pretence that this is not about Great Britain's fears of South Africa's discontent and what that might mean for you and your government... is very distasteful.

Mr Khama, neither you or I are privy to discussions of the British Cabinet.

But one thing you can be sure of are the conversations that I am having with your uncle.

And it is he who demanded this enquiry.

Hey. Ooh.

Did I ever tell you I didn't just marry you for your good looks?



Six cattle died here ten days ago.

Then three white men came, and started drilling with a machine.

We thought they had come here to help us find water, but they ignored us.

I need help with some shopping. Can you come?

It's okay.

Let's get you the things you need.



Cornflour, mma.

I missed you.

Kwashiorkor, malnutrition, malaria.

The hospitals can't cope with the demands.

So what can we do?

We depend on the reports the district commissioner sends to London.

And they do nothing. There's no money left after the war.

They never gave us money before the war.

We pay the taxes they demand, and we get nothing.

Mr Nash.

What is keeping you here so long?

It's a beautiful country.

I should be flattered, but I don't believe you.

The story? Oh, is that what I am? A story?

It's okay. I'm not offended.

I thought I'd catch the film.

Only whites allowed I hear.

And kings.

Even black ones. Why do you come?

To something like this?

There's not a black face in sight outside of the waiters and maids.


The knowledge that one day things will change because they have to.

And it has to start somewhere.

Mrs Khama... how nice to see you again.

You too.

Thank you, my love.

I read something of yours in "World Reporter".

An old copy.

About the Chinese civil war. Was impressive.

Hmm, it's true, I'm just a burnt-out war correspondent trying to find another story.

Well, there's one, right there.

Drilling in the Naledi Valley.

Mineral testing.

What? Copper? Diamonds?

I don't know, but I imagine it wouldn't be difficult for someone like you to find out.

The valley stretches across into South Africa.

It's been lucrative that side. Now they've started exploring our side.

Without our permission.

But with the British Government's?


You know what a discovery would mean to this country, to my people.

It would change everything.

But only if our interests are secured.

I can do that if I'm ahead of the game.

And if I have enough information.

Enjoy the film.

I have some rather good news for you.

A word after the film.

Mr Khama, don't you want to hear the good news?

We have tickets for you.


For what?

The government want to rectify the matter of your chieftainship face to face.

In London.

Dealing with such matters long distance, it slows the process down, which isn't good for you, and your people.

So we thought a month would suffice.


It would give you, Mrs Khama, an opportunity to see your friends, see your family.

You shouldn't come.

They want me here and you in London.

That is why you must be here, and me in London.

I have to go back to resolve this. We don't have a choice in that.

But if you come with me, they won't allow you back.

Why else would they purchase you a trip to visit your family?

You can't just go. Why would I be here by myself?

Seretse, I gave up everything to be with you, but I can't do this alone.

I promise as long as I live you will never be alone.

But if you leave with me... then I can never return because they will force you to stay in England, and I will not return without you.

What the devil is this?

My people have decided that my wife should stay.

Tell your people to remove themselves from this gate immediately.

Unfortunately, in the absence of your decision on my appointment as the king, I don't have any power over them.

Mrs Khama, I strongly urge you to reconsider and come with us.

My husband has told you. He's...

It's not within his power to order these people to do anything, and as a woman... well, I have no say in the matter whatsoever.

So, alas, I'm powerless to help you.

That was very good. Thank you.

I'm ready, Commissioner.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Ah, Mr Khama. Good afternoon.

I'm grateful to you for returning to London. Do please take a seat.

I'm intrigued to know why you've brought me all this way.

The government summoned me here last week upon receipt of the Harragin report.

They have reviewed it and considered the conflict between you and your uncle.

And after taking all things into account, we have concluded that you should be exiled from Bechuanaland for a period of five years.

Call it a period of reflection.

After five years, we will, of course, review the situation.

But in the meantime, we are able to offer you a position in the administration of Jamaica.

And we will, of course, make sure we accommodate your dear wife.

Jamaica is not my country.

There are some similarities.

I belong with my people.

We will be imposing direct rule, with the district commissioner, Rufus Lancaster, acting as native authority.

There will, of course, be a tribal council, so your people will have some sort of say in our running of your affairs.

I do understand this is an awful lot to digest.

I want to see the Harragin report.

Not possible.

It was an advisory paper, so the government's not obliged to publish,

The conclusion was you are not a fit and proper person to rule.

Upon what basis?

That's confidential to the government.

I have a right to know.

Sir Walter has weighed the evidence.

And you chose to agree.

Mr Khama, I am the British Government's representative in your country...

And yet you know nothing of it.

You don't even live there. You are based somewhere else entirely.

Content with your government to run our affairs from South Africa, you move as closely with Prime Minister Malan and his government, as you do the British prime minster.

And, yes, Sir Alistair, I am questioning your motives.

I do not make the decisions.

You advise.

And my advice... is always confidential.

It's six o'clock, Sir Alistair. Might I suggest a glass of sherry?

Splendid idea.

The government will release this white paper.

It explains the situation and your succession.

It sets out in fairly plain English that were it not for our intervention, Bechuanaland would have been torn apart by the rivalry between you and your uncle.

That is an utter fabrication!

We are merely documenting what your uncle has told us.

Oh, gosh. Thanks very much.

Sherry, Mr Khama?

Hello, Ruth.

You're in hospital in Serowe.

You have diphtheria, but it is being treated.

And, Ms Khama, the doctor here has discovered you are with child.

But... My husband and I are concerned that you should now get the very best treatment available.

So he is organising for you to go to Cape Town and visit a gynaecologist.

Dr Wessels.

Oh, Ruth, you are awake.

This chap I'm talking about is the top man in Africa.

It wouldn't be right not to put my faith in the doctors here.

Without wanting to alarm you, death rates in childbirth, for both mother and baby, in Serowe are dangerously high.

To stay here would be a serious risk.

We do urge you to go to Cape Town.

Well, perhaps Dr Wessels could come here.

Dr Wessels does not travel to his patients.

Look, I know what you're doing.

And I don't like it. Mrs Khama...

I will ask you now both, will you please leave?

Whatever your opinion of my husband, I am here only as a woman, who is also a mother.

I'm thinking only of the survival of yourself and that of your baby.

You must give yourself the very best chance.

We know Africa, and you do not.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but I want to decide.

Mrs Khama, Ruth... That's enough!

Please... do as my sister asks.

How dare you, girl.

Who on earth do you think you're addressing?

And who do you think you're addressing?

I am Naledi Khama, from the royal family of the Bangwato.

Granddaughter of Khama the Great, and sister to the present king, who will never be dethroned.


My love? It's Ruth. Can you hear me?

My love, I can hear you.

Best news in the world, I am pregnant.

We are having a baby. A baby.

I've been to the hospital and Dr Moikangao says everything's good.

How about that?

It's wo... it's wonderful news.

I cannot wait for you to come home.

When are you coming back?

Ruth, something's... something has happened.

Uh... I-I had my meeting with Canning.

I have been banished.

The Harragin report stated that I am not fit to rule.

I-I cannot come back for five years.

This can't be happening.

They are determined that we will not be together in Bechuanaland.

And if I return, they'll have no reason to allow you back.

We were never supposed to be apart! You promised me!

You promised me that everything would be all right!

I know.

I know. I'm sorry, my love. I'm sorry.

Then find your way back to me, Seretse.

Find your way back.

I promise you I will.


Ruth... Ruth? Ruth! Ruth...


Ruth! Ruth!

In a counter move to pressure the British Government, Seretse Khama, exiled Bechuanaland chief, today appealed to the British public.

In a fighting address, the chief told the people of Britain to hold its government to account.

I do not believe the British public will tolerate such injustice to me, and, more importantly, to my suffering people who have always remained loyal to the British crown.

I ask my people now to remain dignified and law-abiding, whilst I seek justice for our nation, and to be returned... to my country... and my wife.

Mr Khama... Anthony Benn.

You got my letter.

Seretse, uh, Mr Benn is a friend of Joe's.

We want to help.

Fenner Brockway. May we?

Uh, yes. Please.

It's subterfuge. Propaganda.

It's completely unprincipled.

We are talking about an entire nation who want their leader.

While your government are concealing their reasons for keeping me here, they are allowing our lands to be explored for minerals.

For diamonds. And you believe the two are connected.

I don't know, but what happens if they make a find?

Mr Khama, you are a protectorate, which differentiates you somewhat from other colonies.

Meaning the mineral rights should be vested with the people of my country.

Ordinarily, yes, but you have been placed under direct rule.

Your situation may have become vulnerable.

My grandfather negotiated those rights. I know they remain with us.

You are vulnerable.

What if the government acknowledged our rights publicly in some way?

Or if I could get them on record recognising the agreement they have with us?

Well, that would be a great help, and a miracle.

I will look into the legalities of your country's change in status.

And the Harragin report?

We'll get a copy.

You have my word.

Seretse, please hold your people off.

If the election brings new blood, it could change everything.

How long can we rely on the good nature of our people to stand by peacefully?

Tomorrow, Sir Alistair Canning will announce to my people the appointment of one of his administration as the new native authority to govern my people.

Every district was alerted, sir.

We were expecting 10,000 at this meeting.

The tribe is refusing to organise a council.

Until their king... is returned.

When a man tells a lie, he loses his dignity.

And so it is with a country.

I'm calling on the British Government today to release the Harragin report.

What are they hiding?

they did so with only the slightest of...

In a bid to show his support for the exiled chief of Bechuanaland...

The leader of the opposition, Mr Churchill, addressed Parliament.

Mr Churchill told the House of his deeply held belief in the virtue of the Christian marriage, which he described as a "scared bond between a husband and his wife".

Why are the Labour government keeping this African chief and his woman apart?

Putting his opposition to Khama's banishment on the record, Mr Churchill went on to announce to the House his full intention of returning to the chief and his wife their kingdom, when his Conservative Party wins the forthcoming general election.

The honourable gentleman for Eton and Slough.

We know these actions against Mr Khama are effectively introducing the principle of a colour bar to British politics, separating black from white.

It is an utter betrayal, both of myself, as your prime minister, and of your government.

The betrayal is of the British people, and anyone who believed the Labour Party is on the side of what is right and just.

The world is watching.

The UN have a petition signed by every prominent black leader in the US.

America is sending funds to Mr Khama, so that he can defend himself against us.

It's... I mean, look at these.

Never has a Labour government been criticised this way by the negro press.

We are on the eve of the election. I am pleading with you.

Send him home before Churchill does.

It will be an almighty humiliation if a Tory government fulfills our responsibility!

I would like nothing more than to say to hell with Malan and his damned apartheid, but we need South Africa to protect us from Stalin and his advance there.

We all do! Including the... hypocritical Americans with their Jim Crow laws lauding this over us!

They're pointing out the facts. These are the facts! There's a Cold War.

If I allow that chief, or any black chief and his white queen, to sleep in the same bed on African soil, Malan will withdraw from the Commonwealth.

He will utilise any favour we show that couple to whip up nationalist support for a separate republic.

He'll withdraw his uranium... This is how we justify our actions?

An atomic bomb programme? And his gold!

If you don't care about the uranium, think about our economy.

How long can we sustain our currency without Malan supplying our gold reserves?

Hmm? You count the months!

We have done a deal with the devil.

Twenty-four hours have passed since the polling stations closed, and the last vote was cast.

The candidates stood by, and police oversaw, as ballot boxes were removed, so that counting could begin.

Anxious crowds have gathered in Piccadilly Circus, as, one by one, results have been marked out and announced.

And so it is that the voice of our people has called upon Winston Churchill...

Shh! much uncertainty, the United Kingdom has placed the responsibility of our future in Mr Churchill's hands.

In this closely fought election saw the Conservatives triumphed by a tiny majority.

Nevertheless, the majority it was.

Mr Khama. Good morning.


Sir Winston Churchill will be making his announcement about your return to Bechuanaland in the House of Commons this afternoon.

He wished for me to convey it to you first.

I appreciate that.

He's decided that five years' banishment will cause unrest and uncertainty in the protectorate, and he wishes to bring an end to such insecurity.

Consequently, he will be announcing that your banishment... is for life.

I beg your pardon?

Yes, on the occasion of our previous meeting I was able to offer you a career in the administration of Jamaica.

Pity you did not accept. Under current circumstances, I cannot repeat the offer.

Nor, indeed, a posting to any other land.

The prime minister announced his intentions.

He clearly stated that he would allow me back home.

Opposition is one thing, Mr Khama.

The realities of government are quite another. Good day.

I want him to come back to me.

Churchill promised. He promised.

I believed him.

Seretse says he'll write to Tshekedi, and try and reconcile, but...

You have to be strong.

You have a voice. Use it.

Mr Churchill, 10,000 of my husband's people fought the war for you, and for the freedom of Britain.

They answered your call in your darkest hour.

Mr Churchill, you have betrayed my husband, and each and every one of those 10,000 men.

You have caused great hurt.

You have caused great anger amongst a peaceful people.

And Mr Churchill...

I'm with them.

And I will remain with them because this is my home.

A great event at Silverstone...

Uncle, our country is now completely under the control of the British.

You taught me that the colonialist strategy is to divide and rule, and that the only response is to stand united.

My exile leaves our country divided and vulnerable.

Even as I write the British have authorised test drilling on our lands.

You know what it will mean to our country if diamonds or other minerals are found.

We must protect that wealth for our people.

I need to come home to fulfill the role for which you raised me.

To lead. To serve.

But I cannot do it without you.

If I can find a way to come back, will you agree to hear my plan?

Mr Khama will never return to Bechuanaland.

The decision of my government is absolute and final.

Control them, or I'll close the kgotla.

Sir, you have pushed the patience of the people too far.

You can't close our kgotla any more than I can close your Houses of Parliament.



Shh, shh.


Here is your daughter.

Can you hear her?


Hang on. Can you hear her?

I-I can. I can hear her.

But... she sounds... Is she all right?

She's beautiful.

But she's crying.

Oh, I jabbed her, so she'd make a noise.

Isn't she beautiful?

She's, she's beautiful.

I wish you could see her.

You must come to me.

Are we giving up?

No. No, we are not.

But we've been separated for too long.

I can't do this alone any more.

And I need you.

I need my family.

As soon as the baby's strong enough, we'll come to you.

My tickets have arrived.

Would it be all right if I joined you?

See, I don't know when I'll be back.

It's okay. Mmm.


Why are they here?

They are thanking you for walking the road with them.

This song is about you.

They are saying Seretse's wife is as bright as the morning star.

This way, Mr Khama.

Oh... this is Daddy.

There's someone else here to see you.

Thank you for coming.

Hello, Daddy. Ruth.

This is Jacqueline.


♪ Sometimes I'm happy ♪

♪ Sometimes I'm blue ♪

♪ My disposition... ♪ Mr Nash... Thank you for coming.

The story on the mining companies. I thought you'd like to know.

We need a bit more information, but I'll say we'll be running with this in about a week.


Nash... he's doing a story.

It's not confirmed, it's too soon, but... there has been a find.



Just three diamonds, but...

But yes.

It's a beginning.

It could mean everything.

The British don't know about the find yet.

If I can get ahead...

I know, I know I can get this right.

The prime minister told this country that he would allow the King of Bangwato to return home.

After the election, he banished him for life.

For good.

Having deprived the Bangwato people of their king, can his Commonwealth under-secretary, at the very least, assure us that the Bangwato people will still have a say in the running of their own affairs?

With particular reference to the use of their land for mineral exploitation?

Let me make it clear that the dispute is not between us and the Bangwato, it is between the chief and his uncle.

We have a responsibility to keep this warring family apart.

With respect to the Right Honourable Gentleman, his answer had nothing to do with the question I just asked.

Mr Chairman, the Honourable Gentleman seems to be hounding me for an answer

- that I'm quite prepared to give. Yes? Go on.

Let me make an assurance that no leases will be given to any mining companies, without the consent of the Bangwato themselves.

The report.

How did you get it?

Let's say not everyone is proud of what their government does on their behalf.

Harragin concludes that you are a fit and proper person to succeed to the kingdom.

And that you, Ruth, are acceptable to the Bangwato people.

But that neither of you are acceptable to South Africa.

It's your proof.

Because my exile is now permanent, I need to put our family affairs in order.

As a consequence, I would like to arrange a meeting with my uncle in Bechuanaland, and so I'm requesting permission to travel.

Well, Mr Khama, I have looked at your request.

And as a gesture of goodwill, and to ensure that all can see the sincerity of our efforts to keep peace within your tribe... I will allow it.

But only for a period of one week.

By which point we expect you to have dealt with whatever... family concerns you may need to address.

Thank you.

How kind of you, Mr Roberts.

I hope you know how appreciative we are.

We have a very difficult negotiation.

Yes, Uncle.

This is Jacqueline.

She is a sweet one.

I was going to put her down, but I...

I think she'd rather be in another mother's arms.

Yes, she's a sweet one.

I have read your letter.

And what are your thoughts, Uncle?

If we can agree now to let go of our claims to the kingship, we will be equal private citizens.

Then my marriage can be of no concern to South Africa, Great Britain or anyone.

Any disagreement between you and me becomes a domestic squabble, not an affair of state.

Then I will be allowed to return home.

And we can start to rebuild.

You're speaking of dismantling hundreds and hundreds of years of tradition.

Uncle... you should read this.

You, me, our people... we have been pawns in somebody else's game.

They are coming.

You may have convinced me, Seretse... but now you're going to have to convince the people.

I believe that two days ago, Mr Khama, you had a meeting with your uncle, authorised by Mr Roberts in the Commonwealth Office.

Mr Roberts will not be available in the future to make such decisions.

I also know you want to discuss the outcome of that meeting with me for relay to the British Government.

Before you begin, let me be clear.

There can and will be no circumstance in which we will allow you to return to Bechuanaland permanently.

No... circumstance?

Not even a hand-delivered copy of the Harragin report to the press?

"Government lies to British public for fear of South Africa in Khama affair."

There would be conditions.

I would have to discuss them with the government.

You should know this, Mr Khama...

I would personally demand that you give up all claim to the chieftainship, and that your uncle do the same.

Sir Alistair, I don't have to do anything anymore.

But... I will agree to that.

And... upon condition that we continue direct rule from London.

I will agree to this, also.

Up to the point where we will hold democratic elections, and declare our independence.

Yes, well, an election process is hardly on the agenda.

I suspect your government may take a slightly more respectful position moving forward.

You will be aware of the recent discovery of diamonds on our lands?

Yes, well...

Any resources Bechuanaland may have are... hardly relevant to this issue, Mr Khama.

I hope you caught the news that your Commonwealth under-secretary confirmed to Parliament that my people control all mineral resources in Bechuanaland.

You need my husband, Sir Alistair.

May I offer you a sherry?

My uncle and I are now at peace.

The exile is over!

I have a new vision for our nation.

We are a people of tradition, and rightly so.

But we need a change in Africa.

We need a change in Bechuanaland, whether we like it or not.

Whether the colonial powers that be like it or not.

It is time for us to take a step beyond royal succession, and into a democratic Bechuanaland.

To create a new nation, not to be ruled by royalty here, or royalty in great Britain, but a country to be led by those who you choose.

No man is free... who is not master of himself.

Brother and sisters, it is time for democracy, for independence, for us to be the masters of our own fate.

A new Bechuanaland.

A new Africa.

It is time!

Pula, pula, pula, pula...