King Charles III To Welcome Ramaphosa In First State Visit Of Reign

A photo collage of King Charles III and South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

 

King Charles III next week hosts his first state visit as monarch, welcoming South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife to Buckingham Palace.

The last state visit to the UK came in June 2019, when queen Elizabeth II hosted US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania.

Charles has yet to announce where he will go on his first overseas visit as king, and this was the first invitation he extended since succeeding his late mother in September.

The pomp of the major diplomatic event will be clouded by events in South Africa, where Ramaphosa risks impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime.

Christopher Vandome, a senior research fellow at the Chatham House international affairs institute in London, said “setting the right tone will be crucial”.

He said London — a former colonial power in South Africa — needed to avoid lecturing about Pretoria’s UN voting record on Ukraine while South Africans are still sore about lack of Western support during the Covid crisis.

Climate change, trade and Charles’s vision for the Commonwealth will also likely be high on the agenda, Vandome said.

Ramaphosa was last in London for the state funeral of the queen at Westminster Abbey in September.

His state visit comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader, when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010.

Ramaphosa arrives on Monday before an official programme starts on Tuesday, including a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will be in charge of welcoming Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe but will also see the visiting couple meet other senior royals.

Heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Kate, Princess of Wales, will take him to join Charles and Camilla for a ceremonial military welcome.

Charles’s youngest brother Prince Edward has also been recruited to accompany Ramaphosa to London’s Kew Gardens and a biomedical research centre.

Also on the agenda is an address to lawmakers from both houses of parliament and a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Downing Street.

 Impeachment cloud

A protege of Nelson Mandela — who was on first name terms with Charles’s mother — Ramaphosa stood alongside the anti-apartheid icon when he walked out of jail in 1990.

In a symbolic moment, the South African leader on Tuesday will view a memorial stone for Mandela, installed in Westminster Abbey in 2018 on the centenary of his birth.

After leaving politics to become one of Africa’s wealthiest businessmen, Ramaphosa returned to become Zuma’s deputy in 2014 and gained the presidency in 2018.

He is now fighting for his political life and facing calls to resign as the deeply divided ruling party African National Congress (ANC) is to hold a vote on its leadership in December.

A scandal in which Ramaphosa is accused of concealing a multi-million dollar cash theft has piled pressure on him.

He denies any wrongdoing.

He faces an accusation that he failed to report a heist at his luxury cattle farmhouse in which robbers took $4 million in cash and instead organised for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence.

The president has acknowledged a burglary but denies kidnapping and bribery, saying he reported the break-in to the police.

A panel appointed by South Africa’s parliament is set to determine whether to impeach him.

South Africans are also deeply frustrated by the economic situation, with an official unemployment rate of 33 percent and constant power outages.

Given the problems at home, some South Africans have berated Ramaphosa for jetting off to the UK.

Charles has visited South Africa on a number of occasions and attended Mandela’s funeral in 2013.

It was from South Africa that his mother pledged her life to the service of the Commonwealth in a speech as a 21-year-old princess.

Since becoming king, Charles has met several African leaders, including Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

AFP

King Charles Plans To Sideline Harry, Andrew As Royal Stand-ins – Reports

Britain’s King Charles III speaks during a meeting of the Accession Council inside St James’s Palace in London on September 10, 2022, to proclaim him as the new King. – Britain’s Charles III was officially proclaimed King in a ceremony on Saturday, a day after he vowed in his first speech to mourning subjects that he would emulate his “darling mama”, Queen Elizabeth II who died on September 8. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP)

 

British King Charles III on Thursday was reportedly planning to extend the pool of royals allowed to act for him in his absence, effectively sidelining non-working royals Prince Harry and the Duke of York.

Charles is expected to amend the “Regency Act” to add his brother Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his sister Anne, Princess Royal, The Daily Telegraph and the BBC reported, quoting sources.

The Telegraph reported the amendments could go before parliament “within weeks”, quoting “royal insiders” as saying it was a “logical step”.

READ ALSO: US Issues Terror Alert In South Africa Days After Nigeria’s

Buckingham Palace has not commented officially.

Currently the list of royals who can temporarily take over on the 73-year-old monarch’s behalf if he is away or ill only includes Charles’s wife Camilla, heir to the throne Prince William, Harry, Andrew, and his daughter Beatrice, who is not even a working royal.

A longer list would allow the Palace to bypass Harry, who has quit as a working royal and lives in the US, and Andrew, who has retired from public life over his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and allegations of sex with a minor, without directly excluding them.

Daily Express royal reporter Richard Palmer tweeted that amendments “to create more stand-ins for the King is now a priority, sources have confirmed”.

He said this would mean “the King never has to ask non-working royals such as Harry, Andrew or Beatrice to stand in for him”.

The role includes signing documents and receiving ambassadors, the BBC said.

The regency issue was raised in the House of Lords Monday, with Labour peer Stephen Benn questioning the current situation where Andrew and Harry can exercise these powers.

“Is it not time for the government to approach the King to see whether a sensible amendment can be made to this Act?” Benn asked.

Senior Tory peer Nicholas True appeared to confirm such discussion, saying that the government “will always consider what arrangements are needed to ensure resilience in our constitutional arrangements”.

He added that “in the past, we have seen that the point of accession has proved a useful opportunity to consider the arrangements in place”.

Queen Elizabeth II suffered ill health during the last year of her life.

She asked Charles to deputize for her at events such as the opening of parliament, showing that the legislation is “still very relevant”, Benn said.

Flooding: King Charles III Writes Buhari, Symphathises With Nigeria

Britain’s King Charles III speaks during a meeting of the Accession Council inside St James’s Palace in London on September 10, 2022, to proclaim him as the new King. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP)

 

King Charles III has written to President Muhammadu Buhari over the recent flooding in Nigeria, sympathising with the country over the “devastating” incidents.

“Your Excellency, Dear Mr President,” he began in the message. “I wanted you to know how deeply saddened both my wife and I are to hear of the many people who have lost their loved ones and whose lives have been so dreadfully affected as a consequence of the devastating floods across Nigeria.

“We remember with the greatest affection our visits to Nigeria and the kindness of the people we met.”

Standing in Solidarity


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While reiterating the UK’s support to Nigeria, he said “however inadequate this may be under such tragic circumstances, our most heartfelt sympathy is with all those who have suffered so much, and our thoughts are with those working to support the recovery efforts.

“I know that the United Kingdom stands in solidarity with Nigeria as you recover from these truly terrible events.”

Already, over 600 persons have died in the recent floodings in Nigeria as of Sunday.

The disaster had also forced more than 1.3 million from their homes, said a statement by Nigeria’s ministry of humanitarian affairs, released on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, over 603 lives have been lost as of today October 16, 2022,” said Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq.

The previous toll from last week stood at 500, but the numbers had risen in part because some state governments had not prepared for the floods, said the minister.

10 Things Named After King Charles III

Britain’s King Charles III talks with members of the public waiting in the queue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, Lying-in-State at the Palace of Westminster, in London on September 17, 2022. – (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP)

 

Here are 10 people, places and things named in honour of Britain’s King Charles III.

He was known as Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, before his accession to the throne on September 8.

Prince Charles Island 

Uninhabited and extremely cold, the world’s 78th-biggest island is in the Nunavut territory of northern Canada. The low-lying island, with an area of 9,521 square kilometres (3,676 square miles), was first sighted by a tugboat in 1932 then rediscovered in 1948 by a Canadian air force photo squadron and named after the newly-born prince.

 Princess Charlotte of Cambridge 

The daughter of his eldest son Prince William was named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana after William’s parents and Queen Elizabeth II. She was born on May 2, 2015.

A 2011 change in the law on the order of succession meant she could not be overtaken in the line by her younger brother Prince Louis, born in 2018.

READ ALSO: Biden En Route To London For Elizabeth II’s Funeral

Prince of Wales Glacier 

The Antarctic glacier, in the Queen Elizabeth Range named after his mother, flows north for around 18 kilometres. It was named by the 1961-1962 New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition.

Prince Charles Stream Tree Frog 

Discovered in 2008 among specimens collected for a museum, hyloscirtus princecharlesi, a species of frog found in Ecuador, was named in honour of the prince in recognition of his work advocating rainforest conservation and the battle against deforestation.

Carbuncle Cup 

The new king was famously outspoken on modern architecture and in 1984, when he described a proposed extension to London’s National Gallery as a “monstrous carbuncle”, the institution was forced to think again.

The Carbuncle Cup architecture prize is given by Building Design magazine to the ugliest building in Britain completed in the previous 12 months.

The Prince’s Trust 

Charles founded the charity in 1976 with his £7,500 navy severance pay. The trust aims to build the confidence and motivation of disadvantaged youths by offering training, mentoring and grants. The trust had helped more than a million disadvantaged youngsters find a vocation.

Prince Charles Cinema 

The only independent cinema in London’s Leicester Square, the home of British movie premieres, the PCC hosts regular singalong screenings of films such as “The Sound of Music”, “Grease” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, with cinemagoers dressing up in character.

It opened as a theatre in 1962, before becoming a porn cinema, hosting Britain’s longest run of “Emmanuelle”.

 HMS Prince of Wales 

The aircraft carrier, launched in 2017, is identical to the HMS Queen Elizabeth. The pair are Britain’s biggest-ever warships.

The 65,000-tonne vessel can carry 36 F-35B fighter jets and four Merlin helicopters. It broke down in late August 2022, suffering significant damage to the propeller shaft and had to return to Portsmouth.

 No. 2007 Prince of Wales 

Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive is due to enter service in 2025.

The publicly-funded £6 million project is recreating the Gresley-class P2 Mikado, of which six were made in the 1930s.

Charles has been a big supporter of the project and the new locomotive was named to mark his 65th birthday.

– Royal Trek, Nepal –
The Royal Trek route was named after Charles and his entourage explored the route in 1980.

The trek from central Pokhara into the Annapurna region can take four or nine days and reaches up to 2,200 metres.

There is also a Charles Point lookout in southeast Nepal, with dramatic views of Mount Everest.

AFP

Queen Elizabeth II: Commonwealth Should Come Together – Paul Arkwright 

 

The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the formal proclamation of King Charles III are great opportunities for the Commonwealth to come together. 

This was the comment of a former  British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, who spoke on Saturday, hours after Charles III was formally proclaimed king at a pomp-filled ceremony.

“The Commonwealth is very important to King Charles. In 2018 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London, there was a decision that he would become the Head of the Commonwealth upon the passing of his mother,” Arkwright told Channels Television.

“That is again another smooth transition when it comes to his role as the Head of the Commonwealth. But as the Queen herself used to describe the Commonwealth as a family, I do think that this is a moment for the whole family to come together.

“You are right, there have been strains within the Commonwealth, but I think, at the recent meeting in Kigali, which of course was a meeting held in Africa, we welcomed two new members from Africa. I think the Commonwealth is in good hands.”

READ ALSO: Charles III Proclaimed King With Trumpet Fanfare

According to him, the recent developments in the UK offer chances to further strengthen the values of the Commonwealth, maintaining that “it is a good moment to reflect” despite the strain in the group.

“It is a moment to look forward and to see how we can build the Commonwealth family and to make it even stronger,” he added.

He admitted that this is a difficult moment for Britain but argued that there is a note of optimism for the country.

“We are facing some turbulent times in the UK both politically and economically. We got a winter ahead which I think will be very difficult for many people in the UK,” Arkwright said.

“But this is a moment when everybody can come together and it is a unifying moment and I think there is a note of hope and optimism about the family – if you like, not just the Royal Family but all of us as a family (the family of the Commonwealth) coming together to wish the new king well.”

King Charles III Commits To ‘Lifelong Service’ In First Address

Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III, addressed a mourning nation and the Commonwealth for the first time Friday, a day after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

READ ALSO: Queen Elizabeth II Dies At 96

Here is his statement, pre-recorded in the Blue Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace during the afternoon and broadcast at 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) on UK television:

“I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen — my beloved Mother — was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding, and example.

“Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well lived, a promise with destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.

“Alongside the personal grief that all my family is feeling, we also share with so many of you in the United Kingdom, in all the countries where the queen was head of state, in the Commonwealth, and across the world, a deep sense of gratitude for the more than 70 years in which my mother, as queen, served the people of so many nations.

“In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples.

“That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty.

“Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never wavered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.

“In her life of service, we saw that abiding love of tradition, together with that fearless embrace of progress, which make us great as nations. The affection, admiration, and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign.

“And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour, and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.

“I pay tribute to my mother’s memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all.

“When the queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War, and still living by the conventions of earlier times.

“In the course of the last 70 years, we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.

“The institutions of the State have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of Realms — of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud — have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained and must remain, constant.

“The role and the duties of monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England — the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted.

“In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.

“As the queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.

“And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the Realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.

“My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities.

“It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.

“This is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla.

“In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort.

“I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.

“As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me.

“He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades.

“Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.

“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.

“I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.

“In a little over a week’s time, we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest.

“In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.

“On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support.

“They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.

“And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.

“Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years.

“May ‘flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’.”

AFP