More recently, in 1956, Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus spent a year in exile there. One imagines this imperious black-coated figure with his flowerpot hat taking his constitutional on the white sands.
He and the others were firmly marked by their exiles in the Seychelles; they remembered the islands with surprising affection, considering the conditions of an enforced stay. The archbishop concluded that of all the places he had visited, the Seychelles were "the most beautiful." He wrote, "One can meditate in tranquillity and find a sanctuary away from the troubles of the outer world." The Sultan Khan, after his 19-year stay, took a Seychelles tune back with him, which became the national anthem of the Federation of Malaysia.
As for King Prempeh, according to one account he had arrived in the Seychelles wearing a leopard skin. Exiled for 25 years, he went back to his Golden Stool wearing sponge-bag trousers, a cutaway and a silk hat. He had shed all his wives but one. He had endeared himself to the Seychellois. Half the colony came down to see him off. He had very little wish to leave the islands. As the long boat drew away from the quay, he held both hands over his face, as if to shut in his last sight of the islands, like the close of a curtain.