On Thursday evening, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced the passing of Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu (65), Regent of the Zulu nation.
“It is with the deepest shock and distress that the Royal Family announces the unexpected passing of Her Majesty Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, Regent of the Zulu Nation,” his statement read.
“This has taken us by surprise and left us utterly bereft. It is true that the Lord alone knows the days that He has allotted to each one of us. On behalf of the Royal Family, I wish to assure the nation that while we are all rightly grief-stricken, there will no leadership vacuum in the Zulu Nation.”
Tributes for the Queen have since been pouring in with many sharing their condolences to the Royal Family and the Zulu nation as a whole.
President Cyril Ramaphosa also offered his condolences.
"Personally and on behalf of the government of South Africans, I offer my sincerest condolences to the Royal Family and the Zulu nation," he said in a statement.
"We extend our thoughts, prayers and hearts once more to the Royal Family who, in the midst of mourning the passing of the beloved King, are now called upon to bid farewell to the regent in sadly short succession."
Her passing comes almost two months after the passing of her late husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. She had been appointed as interim ruler of the Zulu nation until a new successor was named following the passing of her husband.
She had eight children with the late King, including five sons. Coming from royalty herself, Queen Mantfombi was the sister of Eswatini's King Mswati III.
Here, we remember her through images taken at different points in her life: