Europe

King treats South African President to lavish state dinner

King Charles and Camilla prepare for state banquet

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The King is tonight treating the President of South Africa to a lavish state banquet as part of his first official visit hosting as monarch. This is also the first state visit of a South African leader for 12 years.

Charles III, alongside his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, are attending the ceremonial welcome of President Cyril Ramaphosa at Horse Guards Parade.

The visit is lasting for two days.

Charles and Camilla have been filmed inspecting the table before tonight’s state banquet.

It is being held at Buckingham Palace. Prince William and Kate have been pictured arriving at the Palace.

Included on the menu for the guests is Filet de Barbue Gallieni (Grilled Brill with Wild Mushrooms and Truffles, Sorrel Sauce) and Ballotine de Faisan aux Artichauts, Compote de Coings, Sauce au Porto, which features pheasant from Windsor, filled with Artichokes, Quince Compote and Port Sauce.

Alongside this, attendees will dine on Panaché de Carottes de Chantenay (a selection of assorted Chantenay carrots), Chou Frisé et Potiron Rôti (kale with roasted butternut squash) or Pommes de Terre Fondantes (braised fondant potatoes) for sides.

On offer for desserts are Parfait de Vanille et Pommes Caramélisées (iced vanilla parfait with caramelised apples) and Café et Petit Fours.

Guests can also choose from a selection of wines to go alongside their meals.

Included on the list is Taylor’s Vintage Port from 1983.

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A bottle of this vintage port retails for around £75.

Reports suggest around 1,700 items of cutlery will be required for the large-scale banquet.

Arrangements have extended beyond the food to offer and also to the decorations on view.

The official Royal Family Twitter page earlier today revealed that “arrangements featuring British-grown seasonal flowers will adorn the Ballroom”.

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This, it added, involves “foliage… sourced from the gardens of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and crab apples in Kent”.

The national flowers of South Africa, Protea, have also been created by Buckingham Palace staff using  sugar and edible colouring.

These will be presented at the banquet alongside petit fours and coffee.

President Ramaphosa earlier today addressed the Houses of Parliament while standing before Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

Tomorrow he will visit the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, as well as the Francis Crick Institute.

Before returning to South Africa, the President will officially bid farewell to Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

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