News24.com | King Charles reveals affectionate Sotho nickname Nelson Mandela gave the queen

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  • At the state banquet for President Cyril Ramaphosa in the UK on Tuesday, King Charles revealed the nickname Nelson Mandela had for the queen.
  • Mandela often called the queen Motlalepula – a woman’s name, meaning “the one who comes with/brings rain”.
  • The king spoke fondly of South Africa and highlighted the importance of strengthening the bond between the UK and SA.

During his speech at the state banquet on Tuesday in the UK, King Charles revealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa and all in attendance the affectionate nickname Nelson Mandela had for Queen Elizabeth.

Earlier in the day, Ramaphosa toured nearby Westminster Abbey with the royals, seeing a memorial stone for Mandela, who served as president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999, while viewing a South African photo collection.

Among the images was one of Charles, Mandela and The Spice Girls. Elsewhere at the viewing of items from the Royal Collection relating to South Africa was a photo of Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the speech she gave in Cape Town on her 21st birthday, dedicating her life to the Commonwealth.

“Avuxeni, Dumela, Sawubona, Molo, Molweni, Ndaa,” Charles began his speech at the banquet on Wednesday, closing day one of the state visit. “My wife and I are delighted to welcome you [Ramaphosa] to Buckingham Palace this evening.”

He added: “South Africa, like the Commonwealth, has always been a part of my life,” before reflecting on the queen’s 1947 speech.

Charles said the queen “expressed her admiration for your country and its people, its vibrancy, natural beauty and diversity” before he continued: “She always talked warmly of her return to your country in 1995, as the guest of President Mandela, after the momentous events – driven from within South Africa and supported by so many around the world, including here in the United Kingdom – that brought democracy to your country.”

He then revealed Mandela’s Sotho nickname for the queen – Motlalepula – a woman’s name, meaning “the one who comes with/brings rain”.

“During one of my own visits to South Africa, in 1997, President Mandela told me that he had conferred on my mother a special name – Motlalepula, meaning ‘to come with rain’. I have been reassured that this was a mark of the particular affection President Mandela felt for the queen… rather than a remark on the British habit of taking our weather with us!”

Charles concluded his speech, toasting the president and the people of South Africa.

“Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,” he said.   

Originally published at News24

News24.com | King Charles reveals affectionate Sotho nickname Nelson Mandela gave the queen

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