Open Post – Belgian State Visit to South Africa (Updated Day Five)

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are beginning a five-day State Visit to South Africa. It will be the first Belgian State Visit to a country in Africa since King Baudouin visited in 1979. Interestingly, the largest Belgian community in Africa is in South Africa, with about 10,000 Belgians living there.

Although we don’t have a detailed agenda yet, we do know this. The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, will host a reception and a state banquet Thursday night. Tiara watch!

Also, Garde Robe Royale will always have the latest, if we aren’t fast enough!

Day One

It’s a long flight to South Africa, but the Queen looked fresh for both her departure and arrival. The white coat over the black dress is a sharp ensemble, and it is no surprise that it is by Armani. You can see both pieces well here.

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The print skirt and shirt she wore for arrival are re-wears by Natan. You can see some of the previous appearances here and here.

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Day Two

This is the first full day of official activities. The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Social Development of South Africa Lindiwe Zulu greeted the King and Queen in Pretoria. The Queen’s pink dress – from Natan, and a rewear – is lovely in that light, but it’s the return of the sideways saucy saucer hat that grabs my eye.

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The banquet was downsized from the original plans, and one of the the things to go was the tiara, alas. However, the Queen did manage to tuck a brooch in her updo. The sequined gown is also by Natan, and was worn in Luxembourg in 2019. (You can catch glimpses of the brooch at 6, 10, and 32 seconds in).

Love Lindiwe Zulu’s hat – whole ensemble is zazzy, actually!

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Here is some information on the downsizing of the state banquet.

Day Three

The day began with a visit to a Soweto day care for the Queen, wearing what is described as an “South African-inspired dress”. Garderoberoyale believes it might be by Odile Jacobs, but has not confirmed that yet.

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To thank the South Africans for their hospitality, the King and Queen hosted a jazz concert in the evening. The Queen wore a Dries Van Noten floral evening gown.

Day Four

The couple has arrived in Cape Town for the final leg of their visit. The Queen is in a repeat Esmeralda Ammoun separates ensemble.

They visited the Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines company in Cape Town and Zeitz Museum. The Queen is in another Natan re-wear, and her Fabienne Delvigne hat.

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They ended the day with a cocktail reception. The Queen pulled out a favorite re-wear, a dress previously worn on an Indian tour. It is an ivory sheath with an embroidered tulle cape and is handmade by Bernard Depoorter.

Day Five

Another day in sunny, beautiful Cape Town.

We knew the King was a painter but hadn’t seen him in action before.

The duo traveled to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town. The Queen is wearing a new to use designer, Belgian Caroline Biss.

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You know how this unfolds – we’ll update with official photos as they are available.