King Charles praises ‘rather wonderful’ South African chess set

King Charles hosts state visit for South African president

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An extraordinary chess set gifted to the late Duke of Edinburgh by the former South African President and civil rights champion Nelson Mandela has been proudly put on display in Buckingham Palace. The set was part of a series of artefacts put out in honour of the state visit of Cyril Ramaphosa, the serving President of the Rainbow Nation.

King Charles hailed the set as “rather wonderful” as he showed President Ramaphosa the pieces from the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) emphasising Anglo-South African relations.

Instead of the traditional black and white playing pieces, the gift from Mr Mandela features the Zulu and Ndebele tribes playing against each other.

Daily Mail royal reporter Rebecca English praised the chess set as “one of my favourite moments” from the event.

Among other features from the “wonderful display” from the RCT was a photograph of the then-Prince of Wales with the Spice Girls.

A number of royals attended to enjoy the artefacts on offer, from the Countess of Wessex to the Duke of Gloucester and the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The Duchess of Cambridge stunned in an Emilia Wickstead dress, Sean Barrett hat and The Prince of Wales Feathers Pendant.

The King and Queen Consort Camilla played host to President Ramaphosa on Tuesday evening at the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace.

This is the first time Charles hosted a state visit as monarch, with preparations for the visit beginning before the death of Queen Elizabeth.

President Ramaphosa’s visit also marks the first state visit by a world leader since Donald Trump came to the UK in 2019.

The Queen’s memory was kept alive as Camilla wore her Belgian Sapphire tiara with matching earrings, necklace, bracelet and ring.

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The sapphire set was given to the late Queen when she was still Princess Elizabeth by her father King George VI on her wedding day in 1947.

Wednesday will see another busy day for President Ramaphosa as he will pay a visit to Kew Gardens and the Francis Crick Institute.

He is also expected to meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch.

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