King Charles III Holds State Banquet in Honour of South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa 

Photo Credit: Vanity Fair

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa was received in pomp and style by the royals ahead of his 2 days state visit in London on Tuesday 22nd of November. This was King Charles first hosting of a State Visit since becoming a British Monarch.

President Ramaphosa was received by the Prince of Wales, Prince Williams and Princess Kate at the Central London Hotel. 

Ramaphosa and wife were met with the traditional gun salute and ceremonial procession during their welcome ceremony by King Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort.  A royal banquet was held later in the president’s honour.

In his speech at the banquet, King Charles recalled his mother, the Late Queen Elizabeth’s tales of her visit to South Africa. He said; 

“South Africa, like the Commonwealth, has always been a part of my life. My mother often recalled her visit in 1947, the year before I was born, when, from Cape Town on Her 21st birthday, she pledged her life to the service of the people of the Commonwealth, It is therefore particularly moving and special that you are our guest on this, the first State Visit we have hosted”.

Photo Credit: BBC

Ramaphosa was scheduled to visit Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and see the memorial stone for former South African President Nelson Mandela.

While addressing lawmakers in parliament, Ramaphosa lauded the two nations’ close ties, forged in the wake of a difficult legacy of colonialism and apartheid.

He also said he had discussed over lunch at Buckingham Palace “initiatives that can be embarked upon by the Commonwealth under the leadership of his majesty the king” 

Britain hopes the visit, which had been planned before the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September, will strengthen trade and investment ties between the two nations, and show the importance of links with the Commonwealth of Nations, the international organisation which Charles now heads.

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