South African President offers message of condolence on the passing of Prince Philip

In an official statement South African President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his condolences on behalf of his government and people on the passing of Prince Philip earlier today.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away this morning at Windsor Castle aged 99, was husband to the Queen for over 73 years, making him the longest-serving consort to a British monarch.

In a press release published this afternoon, the president praised His Royal Highness as a “remarkable public figure who lived an extraordinary life”.

South Africa has had a complex history with the UK having left the union in 1961 following a referendum, but officially rejoined the Commonwealth on 1 June 1994 following the election of Nelson Mandela to the office of president of the newly formed Republic of South Africa, which formally introduced democracy.

Two years later, then President Mandela embarked on an official state trip to the UK, where he was hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen and Prince Philip had previously visited South Africa the year before on an official state trip, but this was the second visit for Her Majesty, who had five months before her official engagement to Prince Philip in 1947 visited the country.

According to reports, Mandela appeared more relaxed upon meeting the Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty the Queen with many saying he considered the Queen a friend.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation further expressed the sympathies of the South African Government in a tweet.

You can read all of SWL’s Prince Philip coverage here.

Featured Image sourced via: Flickr, GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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