King Charles hosted the first-ever state visit since he became the British Monarch. He welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa to Buckingham Palace. The traditional pomp and ceremony were rolled out by King Charles, for the first time as head of state.
The ceremony was done as Britain seeks to bolster its relations with Africa, the biggest trading partner of Britain. The first state visit to the UK by a world leader since that of former US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in 2019 took place when Ramaphosa and his wife were formally welcomed by Charles’s eldest son and heir Prince William and his wife Kate at a central London hotel.
An elaborate carriage parade along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where a later banquet will be hosted in the president’s honor, was then conducted after gun salutes and a formal welcome from the King and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort.
Ramaphosa is planning to go to Westminster Abbey to pay respects to Nelson Mandela’s memorial stone and place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Additionally, he will address the legislature and have a meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The visit, which was scheduled before Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September, is expected to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties and highlight the value of connections to the Commonwealth of Nations, an international organization, headed by King Charles.