Tuesday will mark a significant occasion for King Charles as he hosts South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Tshepo Motsepe, at his first State Banquet as King.
For many royals, the occasion will be a historic first; Camilla, William, and Catherine’s state visit will be their first in their new roles as the Queen Consort, Prince and Princess of Wales, respectively. As it will be the two royal ladies’ first time wearing a tiara, royal fans will be watching with anticipation.
The Banquet itself will be a black-tie affair, and the state visit has largely adhered to the customs established during the reign of the late Queen.
The King and Queen Consort went to the ballroom to check out the table that had been set up before the State Banquet, which is customarily held on the first evening of a state visit.
The monarch personally requested that only sustainable flowers be used as decorations, and she had a special say in how the evening’s decor would be chosen. Cyclamen, nerines, rosehips, anemones, amaryllis, chrysanthemum blooms, and hydrangeas were some of the blooms on display.
Grilled brill served with sorrel sauce and wild mushrooms and truffles is just one of the elegant dishes on the menu. Additionally, there is Windsor pheasant ballotine with artichoke filling, quince compote, and port sauce.
Chantenay carrots, kale with roasted butternut squash, braised fondant potatoes, and salad are served with the meal.
Additionally, their dessert, an iced vanilla parfait with caramelized apples, sounds delectable.
The drinks go perfectly with the upscale food selection, with options like Taylor’s port and Château wines.
The President was given a speech by King Charles, who slightly surprised him by using several South African terms early in his speech. The President used the words “Avuxeni, Dumela, Sawubona, Molo, Molweny, and Ndaa,” all of which mean “Welcome.” The last word is particularly significant because it is from the President’s own language, Venda.
He continued by talking about South Africa’s membership in the Commonwealth and how, because of his late mother’s fondness for the nation, he felt “honoured” that it would be his first State Visit as monarch.
He said, “My mother often recalled her visit in 1947, the year before I was born, from Cape Town, when, on Her Twenty-first birthday, she pledged her life to the service of the people of the Commonwealth.
Additionally, His Majesty shared a sentimental memory, saying: “President Mandela informed me that he had given my mother a special name, Motlalepula, which means “to come with rain,” during one of my own trips to South Africa in 1997. I have been reassured that this was not a dig at the British habit of bringing the weather with us, but rather a sign of the special affection President Mandela felt for the Queen.”