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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Russell Myers & Alahna Kindred

King Charles' first State Banquet menu includes Windsor pheasant, brill and £75 port

Guests at King Charles ' first State Banquet at Buckingham Palace will enjoy a Windsor pheasant and £75 port.

Charles welcomed South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier today in another milestone for the new monarch.

Prince William and Kate Middleton also arrived wearing their evening best. The Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales both paid tribute to the late Queen as they stepped out in late Queen Elizabeth II's jewels for their first State Banquet in their new roles.

The pair joined the King and the Prince of Wales and more than 160 guests for a glittering white tie evening affair at Buckingham Palace in honour of the South African president.

Other members of the royal family that have arrived include the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.

Kate is all smiles at the banquet (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Camilla, Queen Consort during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The last state visit by a world leader was in 2019 with former US President Donald Trump and was held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Mr Ramaphosa was warmly greeted by the monarch and the Queen Consort Camilla earlier today as he began a two-day state visit to the UK.

His Majesty will be treating Mr Ramaphosa to a luxury menu of stuffed Windsor pheasant and grilled brill with wild mushrooms tonight.

The lavish menu offers two mains of grilled brill and Windsor Pheasant.

It differs slightly from the menu of Balmoral venison or lamb from when Queen Elizabeth II hosted.

Kate was seen wearing the Lovers Knot tiara, which used to be a favourite of Princess Diana (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Earl and Countess of Wessex during the State Banquet (PA)

Some of the sides included a selection of Chantenay carrots, kale with roasted butternut squash, braised fondant potatoes and salad.

And for dessert, guests will enjoy an iced vanilla parfait with caramelised apples or coffee and bite-sized confectionery were the options for dessert.

Some of the wines on offer include £75 Taylor's Vintage Port 1983, a Château Feytit-Clinet and a Pomerol 2000.

Final touches being added ahead of the State Banquet (@RoyalFamily/Twitter)
Charles and Camila inspect the tables before tonight's banquet (@RoyalFamily/Twitter)

Other bottles of wine include a £60 Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs 2016, an English sparkling wine that goes at £60 a bottle, a £77 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, a Morgeot, Clos de la Chapelle, a £61 Domaine Duc de Magenta 2014, and a £55 Château Rieussec 1er Grand Cru Classé Sauternes 2007.

Earlier this evening, the King and Queen Consort followed the late Queen's tradition of inspecting the table to make sure everything was in order, ahead of the evening event in honour of the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Tonight, Camilla opted for the much-missed monarch's diamond and sapphire tiara, while Kate wore a pearl bracelet belonging to the late Queen, as well as Diana, Princess of Wales's earrings.

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive at Buckingham Palace for a State Banquet (UK Press via Getty Images)

The sapphire collection, sometimes known as the King George VI Victorian Sapphire Suite, worn by Camilla was of great sentimental importance to the late Queen.

The necklace was a gift from her beloved father, George VI, for her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.

Camilla was dressed in royal blue lace evening dress by Bruce Oldfield, the Garter sash, Queen Victoria's garter order and the late Queen's family order.

Edward and Sophie arrive for the South Africa State Banquet (©Karwai Tang)

Kate wore a caped, white Jenny Packham floor length evening dress with sparkling detail on the shoulders, and her go-to tiara, the Lover's Knot.

Kate also wore the family order, and the GCVO Star and Sash, as well as the four strand pearl bracelet belonging to the late Queen and Diana's diamond and pearl drop earrings.

The Lover's Knot Tiara, a diamond and pearl-encrusted headpiece made in 1914, was often worn by her namesake Diana, Princess of Wales.

This is the national flower of South Africa, the Protea, that has been recreated out of sugar and painted with edible colouring (@RoyalFamily/Twitter)
Chefs preparing for tonight's State Banquet (@RoyalFamily/Twitter)

It was given to Diana by the Queen as a wedding gift in 1981.

She is also wearing Queen Elizabeth II's sapphire and diamond tiara plus a matching necklace and bracelet.

King Charles is wearing the Garter Star and Thistle Star, along with three miniature medals (for the Gold, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee).

Tonight, the King personally requested that only sustainable flowers be used on for massive dinner table tonight.

In the Buckingham Palace ballroom, the grand horseshoe-shaped table, set for 163 people, was decorated with blooms sourced from the palace gardens and Windsor Castle.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa with King Charles III during the State Banquet (PA)

And in a new addition to the traditional floral centrepieces at banquets during the late Queen's reign, the table was also lined with hundreds of tiny individual stem glass vases, each filled with pink, red and purple flowers.

Cyclamen, nerines, rosehips, anemones, amaryllis, chrysanthemum blooms and hydrangea made up the elaborate display, as well as crab apples sourced from Kent.

The foliage included variegated berried ivy, trailing green ivy, flowering viburnum, mahonia japonica and berried cotoneaster.

South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and Camilla attend a State Banquet (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Princess of Wales with guests during the State Banquet (PA)

A spokesman for the King said: "It was the King's decision to ask for sustainable flowers.

"They are all seasonal and from the gardens of Windsor and Buckingham Palace. They have not been flown in from around the world."

Other high-profile guests tonight will include Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Lord Speaker John McFall, Baron McFall of Alcluith, and Baroness Amos.

The itinerary for the two-day visit also shows how the Duke of Cornwall Prince William and Duchess of Cornwall Kate Middleton are playing a key role in the diplomatic event.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa holds a photograph of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Prince and Princess of Wales travelled to Mr Ramaphosa's luxury hotel in nearby central London and accompanied him to Horse Guards Parade for the start of the ceremonial welcome.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and senior members of the Cabinet were also there for the ceremonial reception.

Buckingham Palace is hosting a state dinner tonight, but due to reservicing work, the South African leader will not be staying there.

Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort attend the Ceremonial Welcome for South Africa's President, (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales at the Corinthia Hotel in London (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Work for the South African state visit began during the late Queen's reign and the King was said to have been delighted to continue with the plans.

Both the King and the president are expected to make speeches.

The visit follows the traditional format adopted during the reign of the late Queen.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort show South African President Cyril Ramaphosa items, including a chess set (Getty Images)

After the ceremony today, the King hosted the president at a private lunch at the Palace and then invited him to view an exhibition in the Picture Gallery of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa.

When Mr Ramaphosa picked up a photograph of the Queen with former president Mr Mandela during a 1996 Buckingham Palace state banquet, he said: "This lovely picture," and agreed when the King replied: "You were lucky to have known both."

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa along with Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Queen Consort Camilla (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As they came across a photograph of Charles with the Spice Girls band in South Africa in 1997, the president said: "There you are," with Charles adding with a smile: "There they are."

The Prince of Wales later spotted the photo, saying with a grin to his accompanying guests: "My father in South Africa - the Spice Girls."

Tomorrow, the Earl of Wessex will escort the South African leader to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.

It comes after the King asked Parliament to add his youngest brother Edward - and sister the Princess Royal - as extra Counsellors of State so he can deputise for the monarch if need be.

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