King Charles Wraps First State Visit of His Reign with Goodbye to South African President

King Charles Wraps First State Visit of His Reign with Goodbye to South African President

King Charles III's first state visit as monarch is coming to an end.

On Wednesday, the King welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to Buckingham Palace for a formal farewell on the final day of his visit to the U.K.

The state visit marked the first time the British royals have hosted one since 2019, when then-U.S. President Donald Trump visited the U.K. It also marked the first state visit of King Charles' reign, after he became monarch immediately upon Queen Elizabeth's death on Sept. 8. (A royal source previously confirmed that the visit was in the royal family's diary before Queen Elizabeth's death.)

Following the formal farewell, President Ramaphosa will attend a banquet at the Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation along with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

At the conclusion of the state visit, the Lord Chamberlain will bid farewell to President Ramaphosa on behalf of the King.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: King Charles III and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa attend a formal farewell at Buckingham Palace on November 23, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: King Charles III and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa attend a formal farewell at Buckingham Palace on November 23, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.

Chris Jackson/Getty King Charles and South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa

On Tuesday, Kate Middleton and Prince William welcomed President Ramaphosa at the Corinthia Hotel on behalf of King Charles, then accompanied him to Horse Guards Parade, where the president received a ceremonial welcome. The president and the royals then rode in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.

King Charles III and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa smile during a formal farewell at Buckingham Palace on November 23, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.
King Charles III and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa smile during a formal farewell at Buckingham Palace on November 23, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.

Chris Jackson/Getty King Charles and South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa

That evening, a state banquet was held at Buckingham Palace, complete with tiaras for the royal women, including Kate Middleton and Queen Camilla. Both King Charles and President Ramaphosa both gave speeches.

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The King began his speech by greeting guests in different African languages, including a warm "Ndaa," or "hello," in Venda, which the president speaks, segueing into the shared history between the nations.

Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales (L), South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (2L), and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort (R) listen as Britain's King Charles III speaks during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in London on November 22, 2022, at the start of the President's of South Africa's two-day state visit. - King Charles III hosted his first state visit as monarch on Tuesday, welcoming South Africa's President to Buckingham Palace.
Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales (L), South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (2L), and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort (R) listen as Britain's King Charles III speaks during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in London on November 22, 2022, at the start of the President's of South Africa's two-day state visit. - King Charles III hosted his first state visit as monarch on Tuesday, welcoming South Africa's President to Buckingham Palace.

AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty

"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," Charles said, referencing the famous radio broadcast she made in 1947 before she became monarch.

"It is therefore particularly moving and special that you are our guest on this, the first State Visit we have hosted," he continued.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa (L) and King Charles III share a toast during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace during the State Visit to the UK by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on November 22, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa (L) and King Charles III share a toast during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace during the State Visit to the UK by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on November 22, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.

Aaron Chown - Pool/Getty

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Earlier on Wednesday, President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Prince Edward during a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There, they saw some of the South African plants growing at Kew Gardens including the national flower, the King Protea.

They also went to the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research center that works across academia, medicine and industry to understand the biology behind health and disease. President Ramaphosa and Prince Edward viewed technology used across Africa to diagnose infections, including COVID-19, before meeting South African scientists and students.