King Charles Views Queen Elizabeth's Famous 21st Birthday Speech During South Africa State Visit

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort show South African President Cyril Ramaphosa items, including a photograph of President Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II, displayed as part of the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace
King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort show South African President Cyril Ramaphosa items, including a photograph of President Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II, displayed as part of the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace

Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Queen Camilla and King Charles

Queen Elizabeth II was top of mind during the first state visit of King Charles III's reign.

After giving South African President Cyril Ramaphosa a formal welcome to the U.K. followed by a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, King Charles and Queen Camilla hosted a private lunch. The royal couple then led President Ramaphosa around the Picture Gallery to view items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa.

Among the items displayed was the text of a speech given by then-Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday along with a black and white photo. In a special radio broadcast from Cape Town, the royal pledged her life to her duties.

"I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong," the future monarch famously said. "But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it."

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Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, poses in front of a microphone to make a 21st Birthday speech, April 21, 1947, which she made from Cape Town, South Africa. Queen Elizabeth II will mark 70 years on the throne, an unprecedented reign that has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty Britain Queen Platinum Jubilee, Cape Town, South Africa - 21 Apr 1947
Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, poses in front of a microphone to make a 21st Birthday speech, April 21, 1947, which she made from Cape Town, South Africa. Queen Elizabeth II will mark 70 years on the throne, an unprecedented reign that has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty Britain Queen Platinum Jubilee, Cape Town, South Africa - 21 Apr 1947

AP/Shutterstock Princess Elizabeth

Elizabeth also said in the speech, "As I speak to you today from Cape Town, I am 6,000 miles from the country where I was born. But I am certainly not 6,000 from home. Everywhere I have traveled in these lovely lands of South Africa and Rhodesia, my parents, my sister and I have been taken to the heart of their people and made to feel that we are just as much at home here as if we had lived among them all our lives."

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Displayed were photos of Queen Elizabeth with Nelson Mandela, who was South Africa's president from 1994 to 1999.

There was also a map showing the route of the Royal Train during the 1947 royal tour of South Africa undertaken by King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret —  the first visit to South Africa by a reigning British monarch.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort show South African President Cyril Ramaphosa items, including a a chess set, which was a gift from President Mandela to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1996, displayed as part of the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace
King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort show South African President Cyril Ramaphosa items, including a a chess set, which was a gift from President Mandela to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1996, displayed as part of the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace

Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Queen Camilla and King Charles

Kate Middleton and Prince William were present for the event, walking around the Picture Gallery with South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.

Other members of the royal family who were present at the palace included Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

Although President Ramaphosa's trip marks the first state visit of King Charles' reign, much of the organization is believed to have taken place before the late Queen Elizabeth died in September. As COVID curtailed visits and international travel, this is the first state visit hosted by the British royal family since 2019.

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Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales escort Dr. Naledin Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation during a visit to view items, including a a chess set, which was a gift from President Mandela to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1996, displayed as part of the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales escort Dr. Naledin Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation during a visit to view items, including a a chess set, which was a gift from President Mandela to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1996, displayed as part of the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace

Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images Kate Middleton and Prince William

On Tuesday evening, a centerpiece of the two-day state visit will take place when a glittering state banquet will be hosted at Buckingham Palace, complete with tiaras and ballgowns. Buckingham Palace gave a glimpse at the preparations for the elaborate banquet via social media, sharing a video from the kitchens, where staff were busy preparing the food.

As a special touch, they're also creating decorations in the shape of the national flower of South Africa, the Protea.