Prince William and Princess Kate greeted President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on behalf of His Majesty King Charles on Tuesday during first state visit of his reign.
The Prince and Princess of Wales have played a major role in the first state visit during the reign of King Charles, greeting the president at his London hotel, travelled with him to Horse Guards Parade for a ceremonial welcome and joined the procession back to the Palace.
Unfortunately President Ramaphose wasn’t joined by the South African First Lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, as she is said to be recovering from eye surgery.
Princess Kate was spotted sporting a tailored silhouette-skimming coat made out of burgundy wool, skillfully pairing it with sleek heels and the Princess of Wales’ feather broach, which originally belonged to Princess Diana.
Kate accessorized with a stylish pillbox hat fit with an oversized bow.
“A pleasure to welcome President @CyrilRamaphosa to the UK,” the Prince and the Princess tweeted following the ceremony.
The royal pavilion was brimming with national public figures, including senior members of the Cabinet, the Lord Mayor of London, the Defence Chiefs of Staff and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Joining them were more than a thousand soldiers and over 230 horses, who all took part in the ceremonies, greeted at the parade ground by two lines of Foot Guards from The Coldstream Guards.
Lieutenant Colonel James Shaw, The Brigade Major of Headquarters Household Division delivered the military ceremonial spectacle, stating: “The state visit is a historic first: our first state visit for His Majesty the King and the President of South Africa, the first state visit in London since 2019, the first processional state visit on Horse Guards since 2018, and the first for almost everyone on parade.”
“A huge amount of work has gone into preparing for the visit and we are very proud to support such an important national occasion,” added Lt. Col. Shaw.
King Charles hosted the president at a private lunch at Buckingham Palace after the ceremonies, before then viewing an exhibition of items relating to South Africa inside the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection.
In the procession towards the Palace, Prince William and Princess Catherine rode with the South African Minister of International Relations Dr. Naledi Pandor, in the second carriage, the Australian State Coach.
Upon arrival at the state visit, Prince William reached the Grand Entrance first, followed by Kate who accompanied Dr. Pandor through the main door of the Palace.
The Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to attend the white tie banquet, which is the highest level of formal dress-ware with both Kate and Queen Consort Camilla expected to wear tiaras, on Tuesday evening. The King and the president are set to make speeches at the event.