The Coming to America-esque fantasy of being whisked away by an African prince is the kind of road to royalty that very few people even bother dreaming about. But Peggielene Bartels didn’t need a prince to become African royalty in the blink of an eye — in fact, the woman now known as “King Peggy,” suddenly found herself King.

A naturalized U.S. citizen originally hailing from Ghana, Bartels was a secretary at Ghana’s Embassy in Washington D.C. She knew she was related to African royalty but three years ago when her uncle passed away and his fishing village Otuam chose her as King in his place, she was shocked. Bartels accepted the lifetime appointment as King of Otuam while still maintaining her life here in the states and considers herself a “commuter king.” She’s written a book,  “King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village,” that explains her journey and the unique leadership style she’s developed as a female king often doubted by her traditional male peers. Watch her on CBS This Morning.

Learn more about King Peggy here.

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  • Forgive me, but royalty in Africa is not a big deal. It is only actually, celebrated in the West….when you see those thousands of little girls parading for King Mufasa-I forgot his name-the one from Lesutho-it’s just-I don’t know….class system politics playing out….

    But Kudos to her for being Queen….if she is helping, that’s all that matters.

    • sli

      Kudos to her for being a King

    • Pelo

      @ African Mami- Ha ha @ King Mufasa. I think you may be talking about King Mswati who is actually from Swaziland.

  • MedStudent

    YAWN! This happens all the time, my own aunt is royalty and travels to Ghana from the US every 4 months to fulfill her duties. But if she’s living it up more power to you!

  • Trilha

    Africa is NOT homogeneous, in some parts of Africa royalty IS a big deal, in other places that’s not the case. It’s not fair to generalize.

  • 12

    Most African titles of royalty are unaccounted for in Western countries. Referring to tribes.