Ramaphosa exuberant as he meets British Royals |November 23, 2022
This week’s royal update is all about South Africa’s state visit to the United Kingdom, as the Prince and Princess of Wales – Prince William and Kate Middleton, King Charles III and other royal members met President Cyril Ramaphosa. We also look at an update on Prince Andrew’s heckler.
Ramaphosa meets the royals
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s UK state visit is scheduled for two days, and the first day went without a hitch.
The purpose of the visit is “to identify new areas of collaboration in advancing economic recovery and stability, and reaffirming the solid foundation between the two countries”.
On Tuesday evening the state banquet occurred, with the royals dressed to the nines, including the president himself in a traditional British tailcoat suit, with a red waist band.
ALSO READ: WATCH: Behind the scenes as Buckingham Palace prepares for state banquet
Ramaphosa was photographed with King Charles III and the Queen Consort, Camilla Parker Bowles, in the music room at Buckingham Palace.
There was also a photo-op with William and Kate in a different setting. The royal couple said: “A pleasure to welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa to the UK”.
For the state banquet, Kate stunned in a Jenny Packham white gown, with diamante details on the shoulders.
A lot of effort went into the state banquet as royal staffers decorated the palace with arrangements featuring British-grown seasonal flowers which adorned the ballroom.
This was the first time the King hosted a state visit. On the first day, Ramaphosa also viewed a special display of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa.
Pomp and pageantry
The attraction and mystique of the royal family isn’t just their private lives in the public eye, but the pageantry that comes with being a monarch.
The South African president continued to experience the pomp and pageantry when he was on board a carriage procession with the King and Queen Consort on their way to Buckingham Palace.
ALSO READ: Ramaphosa in London: UK stood by SA ‘during our darkest hours’
Despite some excitement in the UK, the reaction back home has been quite muted with many feeling Ramaphosa should have stayed in South Africa to help solve the many crises.
Politician, EFF Commissar and Member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi couldn’t help but find some humour in Ramaphosa’s exuberated facial expressions during his carriage ride and how happy he appears to look in the UK.
Ndlozi captioned the picture: “Word”.
Prince Andrew’s heckler won’t be prosecuted
A 22-year-old man who heckled Prince Andrew as he walked behind his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Edinburgh will not be prosecuted, the Crown Office said on Tuesday.
“After full and careful consideration of all facts and circumstances, the case was dealt with by way of an offer of an alternative to prosecution,” a spokesman said.
The incident occurred as Andrew, the queen’s second son, walked in the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to St Giles’ Cathedral on September 12.
As it passed, a heckler called Andrew a “sick old man” in reference to his links to the American paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein and claims of sex with a minor.
Andrew, who denied the claims, settled a US civil lawsuit over the allegations in February, for an undisclosed sum.
The protester was then seen being bundled away by police. He was arrested shortly afterwards and charged with public disorder offences.
Alternatives to prosecution can include warnings, work orders, fines and compensation orders.
*Additional reporting AFP