The new royal “Fab Four” teamed up Tuesday for King Charles’ first state visit.
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla joined Prince William and Kate Middleton in an elaborate horse-drawn carriage procession for the monarch’s first state visit. They gave South African President Cyril Ramaphosa a full ceremonial welcome.
Buckingham Palace listed the president’s wife, first lady Dr. Tshepo Motsepe, when the visit was announced in October, but he arrived without her, according to People.
The South African president rode in the Irish State Coach with King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, the traditional coach used by the British monarch to travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster to formally open the new legislative session of the United Kingdom Parliament.
Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles’ late mother, rode in the same carriage with her father, King George VI, to Westminster Abbey for her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip.
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor accompanied the Prince and Princess of Wales in the Australian State Coach. The carriage was presented to Queen Elizabeth by Australia in May 1988 to commemorate Australia’s Bicentennial.
They enjoyed the carriage ride up the famous Mall, which was decorated with both countries’ flags. The carriage ride followed an earlier parade of hundreds of soldiers and musicians on the Horse Guards Parade.
The royal family tweeted a video of the carriage procession.
The caption read:
“The State Visit Carriage Procession, made up of the President of South Africa, The King, The Queen Consort, and The Prince and Princess of Wales, arrives at Buckingham Palace.”
Social media users had mixed reactions to the video. Some thought the pomp was impressive, while others thought it was over the top.
“I think this is too extravagant. The royal family should be more of a role model in these modern times, and be more sensitive to the current economic misery in the U.K.”
“It’s a state visit which we always roll out the red carpet for. Plus this extravagance brings in the money into the local economy with tourists watching it so it is already paying for itself much much more than it has cost to do this.”
A royal fan wrote:
“Love all the pomp!! No one does it better than the U.K.”
A different user agreed, saying:
“It’s the best! (Coming from an American).”
The four senior royals dressed up for the guest’s state banquet at Buckingham Palace in the evening. Middleton wore a Jenny Packham gown and her beloved Lover’s Knot tiara.
Queen Consort Camilla, for her part, wore Queen Elizabeth’s Belgian Sapphire tiara, as well as its matching necklace and bracelet, to the banquet.