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The film is based on a true story. Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) is the Prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana). In 1948 he meets and falls in love with London office worker Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). But their interracial relationship is not approved of by either of their families, nor by the British and South African governments. Seretse and Ruth must defy family, apartheid and the British empire to return from an imposed exile to their African kingdom, and assume power after independence.