South African State Visit – Edward visits Kew Gardens and Francis Crick Institute

The Earl of Wessex escorted the South African President on the final day of his visit

Following Tuesday’s Ceremonial Welcome and State Banquet for The President of South Africa, the incoming State Visit continued with The Earl of Wessex accompanying The President on a number of visits to see the scientific partnerships between the UK and South Africa.

In the morning The President, accompanied by Prince Edward, visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in south west London.

South Africa is one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, and the visit focused on the longstanding scientific and conservation partnerships between South Africa and the UK.

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The Earl of Wessex and the President of South Africa visited Kew Gardens. (Royal Family)

Edward and President Cyril Ramaphosa toured the iconic greenhouses at Kew Gardens, where a number of South African plants are growing, including the national flower, the King Protea.

To commemorate the next phase of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, the visit also featured a ceremonial presentation of seeds for the President. The bank holds more than 2.4 million seed varieties, conserving them for the future.

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The pair then stopped off at the Francis Crick Institute to hear how technology has been used across Africa to help diagnose infections. It is also collaborating on projects with the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.

The Earl and President also took the opportunity to meet South African scientists and students at the centre. ⁠The Institute has close partnerships with South African universities and research institutions and which counts a number of South African scientists among its staff.⁠

They heard from Dr Dumi Lumkwana who explained her work with Stellenbosch University Home to create small, easy-to-use microscopes and user-friendly open source software for analysing images.⁠

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Prince Edward and the President visited the Francis Crick Institute. (The Crick)

In the afternoon, The King and President said their formal farewells at Buckingham Palace, as the State Visit came to an end.

The State Visit was a historic moment for the new Monarch and the UK, as it marked the first State Visit in the reign of King Charles III.

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In the evening The President, joined by The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, attended a Banquet at the Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor and The President will both make speeches at the end of the banquet.

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