Memorable visits to Cape Town by Queen Elizabeth II
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As Queen Elizabeth II is laid to rest today, her two historic visits to Cape Town are remembered.
She first visited Cape Town with her parents and sister in 1947, where the then Princess Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday. The family’s visit included the Houses of Parliament, the home of General Smuts, and Rhodes Memorial. A 21st birthday Gala Ball was held for the Princess in the Cape Town City Hall.
On her birthday she addressed the British nation via a radio broadcast with a moving speech, words which reflected how she would one day rule the British Commonwealth and Empire, and a dedication which she kept when she became Queen in 1952, until her dying day:
’I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.’
The Queen subsequently visited Cape Town with Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1995. She was welcomed by our late President Mandela, to whom she bestowed the prestigious Order of Merit.
The City of Cape Town lit up the City Hall in red, white, and blue in honour of the late Queen on the day after her passing on 8 September.
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