Is ‘Keith the coal’ due royal inheritance?
A COAL worker who discovered he is related to Malaysian royalty is stepping up his battle to claim his inheritance.
Keith Williams spent 20 years grafting in his adoptive father’s coal business in South Wales before deciding to trace his biological roots.
And the 66-year-old could never have imagined the astonishing discovery he was to make.
The humble Carmarthenshire man known as Keith y Glo (Keith the Coal) was the illegitimate first-born son of the 33rd Sultan of Perak in Malaysia. He flew out to try to meet his new family but claims that following initial contact he was given the cold shoulder. And while stressing he has no interest in vying for the throne, he is now determined to claim any inheritance his royal father may have left him.
Keith told The Mirror: “It is a shame they have decided to close ranks on me. I understand if they feel threatened but it’s not like I am claiming the throne. I am sure my father knew about me and if he did I am sure he would have left something behind for me and I think it is only right I know about it.”
When Keith learned of his origins, it was too late to make contact with his father, Idris Iskandar AlMutawakkil Alallahi Shah, as he died in 1984.
Keith’s mum, Elizabeth Rosa, was 17 and a trainee nurse at a children’s hospital in Carshalton, Surrey, when she met the royal while he was studying in the UK. They had a whirlwind affair and she became pregnant.
Elizabeth was forced to go home to Swansea and give up Keith for adoption, and the prince was sent back to Malaysia to avoid a scandal. After his return, he served as the state’s 33rd Sultan of Perak from 1963 until his death. Malaysia has nine Sultanates and the families live opulent lifestyles in palaces.
It is unclear what Keith’s family are worth but business magazine Forbes has revealed the current Sultan’s daughter, Eleena Azlan Shah, was worth £151 million in 2012. However, Keith, of Penygroes, stresses his move is not about greed.
He said: “Of course they are worth a considerable amount. I am not interested in their money, I just want to know if my father may have left me anything. If it was confirmed that there was some sort of inheritance, why wouldn’t I be interested? It is something he would have wanted me to have, isn’t it?
“My father was known as the ‘People’s Sultan’ – everybody liked him, from what I have researched. I am sure he would want the best for me.”
Keith says even if he was left nothing, it would still mean the world to him for the family to simply pick up the phone.
During a visit to Malaysia, he met half-sister Ku Ess and visited his father’s tomb. After the current sultan Nazrin Shah dies, the next will be Keith’s younger half-brother.
He revealed he’d had a DNA test showing Asian ancestry and he has inquired about Malaysian citizenship but heard nothing back.
Keith said: “To be honest, I find it sad and a little annoying they are ignoring me. At one point we were in touch all the time and they even agreed to a DNA test. But now they cannot even return an email. It is sad. I just want to get to know them and learn about my father. I am convinced he knew about me.
“When my mum got pregnant and went into care and came back to South Wales, she wrote letters to him. In one, he gave her a photo of the palace with the phone number and address on the back. I am certain he would have known about me but the establishment would have stopped him doing anything about it.”
Keith is also writing a book about his incredible story, which he hopes to publish soon.
Former coal merchant Keith Williams, from Penygroes, Carmarthenshire, has discovered his father was a Malaysian Sultan.