South Wales Guardian
A PENYGROES man who was adopted as toddler more than 60 years ago has discovered he is really the eldest son of Malaysian sultan.
Sixty-four-year-old Keith Williams had no idea of his royal origins when he began attempting to trace his biological parents, but uncovered a true story more suited to fairytales then life as a coal merchant.
The father-of-three’s incredible story is the subject of an S4C documentary, Fy Nhad y Swltan (My Father the Sultan), broadcast on Wednesday, January 6.
Keith, known as Keith y Glo – Keith the Coal, was born in Llanelli and adopted when he was just two years of age.
He spent more than 20 years working in his adoptive father’s coal business, but in later years embarked on a voyage of discovery in a bid to trace his biological parents.
Keith, who has six granddaughters, eventually managed to trace his biological mother, Elizabeth Rosa, in the Peterborough area.
It was through her that he discovered his biological father was actually a member of the Malaysian monarchy – who served as the 33rd Sultan of the Perak state after returning to his homeland from the UK.
Keith said: “It’s like a story from a Disney film and if someone had told you this story in the café or by the bar, you’d tell them to get out.”
“Finding out that my dad came from Malaysia was a bit of a shock. When I found my birth mother, I discovered she had kept lots of old photos and information about him.
Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah served as Sultan from January 1963 until January 1984, when he died of a heart attack.
The documentary follows Keith and his youngest son Timothy as they visit Malaysia to find out more about his father’s side of the family.
Keith struggled to make contact with various members of the family and he believes their reluctance to meet him may have stemmed from a fear that he – as the first-born son of the Sultan – would lay claim to his father’s title, grand palace and vast fortunes.
(This article appears in the South Wales Guardian on 31 Dec 2015)