State Visit of the President of South Africa
Published 21 November 2022
This week, The King and The Queen Consort and other members of the Royal Family welcomed The President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa to the United Kingdom for a State Visit.
Monday 21 November 2022
The President of the Republic of South Africa arrives privately in the UK .
Tuesday 22 November 2022
The Prince and Princess of Wales greeted President Ramaphosa on behalf of The King, at the Corinthia Hotel before they travelled together to Horse Guards Parade for the Ceremonial Welcome ceremony.
At Horse Guards Parade, The King and The Queen Consort formally welcomed The President at the Royal Pavilion. The Guard of Honour gave a Royal Salute before being inspected by the President, and the South African National Anthem was played.
The President and members of the Royal family then travelled along The Mall to Buckingham Palace in carriages pulled by horses from the Royal Mews.
In the afternoon, the President viewed an exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa.
The President later visited Westminster Abbey, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and took a of the Abbey, which will included the memorial stone for Nelson Mandela, who served as President of South Africa between 1994 and 1999.
At the Palace of Westminster, The President was welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker. The President delivered an Address in the Royal Gallery to Members of Houses of Parliament and other guests.
In the evening The King, accompanied by The Queen Consort and Members of the Royal Family, held a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace for The President.
His Majesty and The President both made speeches at the start of the banquet.
Wednesday 23 November
In the morning The President, accompanied by The Earl of Wessex, visited the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
South Africa is one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, and the visit focussed on the longstanding scientific and conservation partnerships between South Africa and the UK. The President and The Earl saw some of the South African plants growing at Kew Gardens, including the national flower, the King Protea. The visit celebrated the next phase of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute.
The President and The Earl of Wessex then visited the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre that works across academia, medicine and industry to understand the biology behind health and disease. The Institute collaborates on projects with the University of KwaZulu- Natal, and The President and The Earl viewed technology used across Africa to diagnose infections, including Covid-19, before meeting South African scientists and students.
Afterwards, President Ramaphosa travelled to No. 10 Downing Street for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
In the afternoon, The President visited the UK-South Africa Business Forum at Lancaster House, accompanied by the Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, the Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP. The forum focussed on investment, infrastructure and innovation, celebrating the social, environmental and growth impact that trade between the two countries brings.
The President then returned to Buckingham Palace to formally bid farewell to The King.
The President received a call by the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer MP, at the Corinthia Hotel.
In the evening The President, joined by The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, attended a Banquet at the Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation.