King Charles will receive South Africa’s president and first lady at Buckingham Palace on his first state visit.
The Palace confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa had accepted an invitation to visit the UK on 22 and 24 November. With him is his wife, Chibo Motsebe.
The visit is in the early stages of planning ahead of the Queen’s death in September. Ramaphosa will see the King and Queen as hosts, usually including a lavish banquet, but full details will be revealed in the coming weeks.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes all decisions about who to invite on state visits and is considered the ultimate diplomatic gift; It is an important way for the UK government to strengthen relations with countries it considers strategic for reasons such as trade or security.
US President Donald Trump hosted the Queen’s last state visit in 2019. Although the 2020 visit from Japan had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The King has visited South Africa on several occasions since his first tour of the country in 1997, which included Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. His last trip was in 2011 with the Queen consort, then the Duchess of Cornwall.
The three-day state visit comes as Ramaphosa is accused of money laundering in South Africa.
The president has denied the allegations, including illegally keeping about $4 million in cash at his farm in northern South Africa and covering up the theft to hide the money’s existence.
The scandal dealt a serious blow to his image as a leader fighting corruption in South Africa.
Later in the day, the King and Queen will celebrate their first official engagements since the end of the royal mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.
Two weeks after his mother’s funeral, the King and Camilla will visit Dunfermline in Scotland to celebrate their new town status.
It is one of eight towns that became towns to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Their Majesties will also host a reception for members of the British communities in South Asia at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.