The monarch welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa as the UK looks to strengthen ties with its biggest trading partner in Africa.
King Charles made his first state visit since becoming British monarch, welcoming South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to Buckingham Palace.
Charles, 74, displayed traditional pomp and ceremony on Tuesday for the first time as head of state, as Britain seeks to strengthen relations with its biggest trading partner in Africa.
Ramaphosa and his wife were officially welcomed by Charles’ eldest son and heir, Prince William and his wife Kate, at a central London hotel to mark the start of their two-day trip, the first state visit to the UK. of a world leader since that of former United States President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in 2019.
Gun salutes and a welcoming ceremony from the King and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, followed by a grand carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where a banquet will later be held in honor of the President.
Ramaphosa is scheduled to visit Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and view the memorial stone for former South African President Nelson Mandela.
He will also address lawmakers in Parliament and meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Trade, investment ties
Britain hopes the visit, which had been planned before Queen Elizabeth’s death in September, will strengthen trade and investment ties between the two nations and show the importance of ties with the Commonwealth of Nations, the international organization that Carlos now directs.
“This is a reinforcement of the strong bilateral relationship we have with South Africa, a real opportunity to build on that close working relationship and discuss some of the issues that affect us all,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told the Reuters news agency.
The last state visit to Britain by a South African leader was by President Jacob Zuma in 2010, when Charles and Camilla welcomed him at the start of the trip.