Kate and Prince William greeted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Corinthia Hotel in London shortly before noon today as the first-ever state visit in the reign of King Charles III kicked off. The Prince and Princess of Wales looked in high spirits as they met the South African leader before accompanying him to Horse Guards Parade, where the King and Queen Consort were waiting for their guest of honour under a dais.
For her first state visit as Princess of Wales, Kate donned a burgundy ensemble, which included a hat, gloves and heels.
The Prince of Wales wore a dark suit with a tie matching the colour of his wife’s outfit.
Kate and William travelled with Mr Ramaphosa to Horse Guards Parade, where the Guard of Honour comprised of the Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards and the Household Cavalry were in attendance.
Upon their arrival at Horse Guards Parade, William and Kate let the sovereign take the lead and greet his guest.
Together, Charles and Mr Ramaphosa viewed the royal salute performed by the Guard of Honour and listened to the South African anthem.
While Camilla, dressed in a blue outfit, looked on, King Charles accompanied the President in his inspection of the Guard of Honour.
Their Majesties and the President of South Africa later departed in the Irish State Coach, which brought them through the Mall with destination Buckingham Palace.
This was the first carriage procession to take place in the Mall with Charles as the monarch of the country and head of the Commonwealth.
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Among other royal firsts expected today, Charles will host his first state banquet this evening at the Palace.
Before that, however, the King will offer President Ramaphosa a private tour of the Picture Gallery to view some of the Royal Collection’s pieces of art focused on South Africa.
Later today, President Ramaphosa will head to Westminster Abbey, where he will lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Before the state banquet, he will also head to the Houses of Parliament to deliver an address to MPs and peers gathered.
In attendance at this ceremonial welcome today were also Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
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