The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Monday 20th January 2020 hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
William and Kate, who greeted world leaders on behalf of the Queen for the first time, showed no sign of strain following a tumultuous fortnight for the Royal Family, the Evening Standard reports.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a dazzling red dress by Needle and Thread as she greeted African heads of state at the Buckingham Palace
The couple were joined by other royals at the event, which followed a day of meetings for the prime ministers and presidents attending the event staged in London.
Also at the event were the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Royal, who mingled with the heads of state and government and their partners, Boris Johnson and UK and African business figures.
Sophie, who wore a red dress by Alaia, was also celebrating her 55th birthday.
In a warm and personal speech, the Duke welcomed guests from 21 African nations, telling them: “My grandmother is sorry not to be here this evening but she has asked me to pass on her warmest wishes to you all.”
He continued: “The African continent holds a very special place in my heart.
“It is the place my father took my brother and me shortly after our mother died.
“And when deciding where best to propose to Catherine, I could think of no more fitting place than Kenya to get down on one knee.
“Throughout my life, I have been lucky enough to spend time in many other parts of Africa. I’m also honoured to be the Patron of the Royal African Society.
“And as Catherine and I have said to several of you here tonight, we hope to have the chance to visit many more countries in the future and share our mutual love of your continent with our children.”
The summit aims to demonstrate the strength of the relationship between the UK and Africa, showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.
It also aims to highlight the UK’s commitment to supporting economic development in Africa.
William and Kate were all smiles as they received a line of visiting Heads of State and their partners in the Music Room at the Buckingham Palace
During a group photograph with the heads of state and government in the Throne Room, Prime Minister Boris Johnson joked “Say Brexit” as the photographer counted them down.
The royals then joined a reception with the leaders in the Green Drawing Room before joining other guests in the Picture Gallery, where the Duke of Cambridge gave his speech.
Earlier in the day, Harry held private bilateral meetings with Moroccan PM Saad-Eddine El Othmani Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi and Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique at the request of the Government.
Meanwhile, William held his own meetings at Buckingham Palace with Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Adda and Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.
The Duke was apparently asked about his brother during the line up and was heard to say: “You saw him today?” to Filipe Nyusi, Mozambique’s President.
And chatting to Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika, who also met Harry earlier today, he said: “I need to go there, I will be there soon.”
As well as announcing his intention of visiting the African continent with his wife and three children, William also told several leaders he was keen to visit their countries.
Speaking to Angola’s minister for economic and social development Manuel Nunes Junior, he said: “Please pass on my best wishes to President Lourenco, I’m very keen to come. What’s going on in Angola is very exciting. I look forward to seeing him.”
The Duke is understood to have three more bilateral meetings with African leaders tomorrow.
On Monday, Prince Harry gave an emotional speech on Sunday night where he said he had “no other option” but to give up his official royal duties and forge a new life with wife Meghan and their baby son in Canada.
The Duke of Sussex said he was “taking a leap of faith” in stepping back from his life as a member of the royal family but added “there really was no other option”, during a speech at a private dinner for his charity Sentebale on Sunday evening.
He added: “Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding.
“Unfortunately that wasn’t possible.”
Earlier, Prince Harry carried out what is likely to be one of his few remaining official engagements when he met some of the leaders for audiences – one-to-one meetings.
He held a 20-minute meeting alone with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it is not known as to what they discussed.