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Prince William And Kate Middleton Play Key Role as King Charles Hosts His First State Visit

The royal couple took on the role that William’s father used to play when Britain rolls out the red carpet for a visiting head of state.

The first State Visit of King Charles’s reign began this morning with a military spectacle at London’s Horse Guards Parade. And Prince William and Kate have played a key role in welcoming South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to the U.K, greeting the President at the Corinthia Hotel before traveling with him to the official welcome ceremony.

State Visits see Britain roll out the red carpet for visiting heads of state and Queen Elizabeth hosted more than 100 throughout her 70-year reign. Invitations are issued on advice of the government and this visit was in the planning before the Queen died. Previously, Prince Charles and Camilla have greeted the visiting head of state before the official welcome, and this role has now been taken on by the new Prince and Princess of Wales.

More than 1,000 soldiers and more than 230 horses from nine military units took part in the parade at Horse Guards today. The King and Queen Consort arrived by car as the band played the National Anthem. They welcomed the President to the Royal Pavillion as gun salutes were fired from Green Park and the Tower of London. Then the President, accompanied by The King, inspected a Guard of Honour of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards. Following the official welcome, the royals and their guest departed in carriages down The Mall to Buckingham Palace for a private lunch. Afterwards, they were scheduled to view an exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa.

Throughout the three-day visit, President Ramaphosa is scheduled to make a number of outings including to Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. This evening, he will be the guest of honour at a State Banquet in Buckingham Palace where he and the King will both make speeches. This is the first State Visit that Britain has hosted since President Trump visited in 2019. President Ramaphosa is not staying at Buckingham Palace because it is currently undergoing extensive renovation work.


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