State Visit of the President of South Africa

South African President Nelson Mandela stands with The Queen on his arrival at Buckingham Palace, for a state banquet in his honour.


Tuesday 22nd to Wednesday 23rd November 2022

The President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa, will pay a state visit to the United Kingdom as the guest of the King from 22nd to 23rd November 2022. The King and Queen will host the state visit at Buckingham Palace.

The last state visit from South Africa was by President Jacob Zuma in 2010.


The President of the Republic of South Africa will arrive privately in the United Kingdom on the morning of Monday 21st November at Stansted Airport. His Excellency will be greeted on behalf of the King by The Viscount Hood, Lord-in-Waiting.


The Prince and Princess of Wales will greet President Ramaphosa on behalf of the King at the Corinthia Hotel on Tuesday morning.

Their Royal Highnesses will then travel with the President to Horse Guards Parade, where the President will receive a ceremonial welcome.

The King and Queen will formally welcome the President at the royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade. Presentations will be made, the guard of honour will give a royal salute and the South African national anthem will be played.

The President, accompanied by the King, will inspect the guard of honour, found by Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards.

Afterwards, the President will join the King and Queen, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, for a carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where they will be met by a second guard of honour found by 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.

Following a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, given by the King, His Majesty will invite the President to view an exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa.

In the afternoon the President will visit Westminster Abbey, where His Excellency will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. The President will take a tour of the Abbey, which will include the memorial stone for Nelson Mandela, who served as President of South Africa between 1994 and 1999.

At the Palace of Westminster, the President will be welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker. The President will deliver an address in the Royal Gallery to members of the Houses of Parliament and other guests.

In the evening the King, accompanied by the Queen and members of the Royal Family, will give a state banquet at Buckingham Palace for the President. His Majesty and the President will both make speeches at the start of the banquet.


In the morning the President, accompanied by the Earl of Wessex, will visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. South Africa is one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, and the visit will focus on the longstanding scientific and conservation partnerships between South Africa and the UK.

The President and the Earl will see some of the South African plants growing at Kew Gardens, including the national flower, the King Protea.

The visit will celebrate the next phase of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute, and will include a ceremonial presentation of seeds.

The President and the Earl of Wessex will then visit the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre that works across academia, medicine and industry to understand the biology behind health and disease. The Institute collaborates on projects with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the President and the Earl will view technology used across Africa to diagnose infections, including Covid-19, before meeting South African scientists and students.

Afterwards, President Ramaphosa will travel to No. 10 Downing Street for a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP.

In the afternoon, the President will visit the UK-South Africa Business Forum at Lancaster House, accompanied by the Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, the Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP. The forum will focus on investment, infrastructure and innovation, and will celebrate the social, environmental and growth impact that trade between the two countries brings.

The President will return to Buckingham Palace to formally bid farewell to the King.

The President will then receive a call by the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer MP, at the Corinthia Hotel.

In the evening the President, joined by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, will attend a banquet at Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor and the President will both make speeches at the end of the banquet.

At the conclusion of the state visit, the Lord Chamberlain will bid farewell to President Ramaphosa on behalf of the King. His Excellency will depart from Stansted Airport.

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