Is ‘Keith the coal’ due royal in­her­i­tance?

Carmarthen Journal - - Front Page - ADAM ASPINALL

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.

Picture: Rowan Grif­fiths

For­mer coal mer­chant Keith Wil­liams, from Peny­groes, Car­marthen­shire, has dis­cov­ered his fa­ther was a Malaysian Sul­tan.

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