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The Queen congratulates South Africa on 20 years of democracy

Queen Elizabeth has congratulated South Africa on reaching 20 years of democracy.

Her Majesty at the Commonwealth’s global headquarters in London.

Her Majesty at the Commonwealth’s global headquarters in London.

On 27 April, South Africa celebrated the 20-year anniversary since the first democratic elections were held in the country. The elections set forth a new government and new constitution which previously was under Apartheid rule.

Her Majesty’s message to South Africa:

“On the occasion of the Republic South Africa celebrating 20 years of democracy, it gives me great pleasure to send the people of South Africa my warmest congratulations. My family and I have enjoyed a special and significant relationship with South Africa over the years. The links between our two countries have deepened and matured since South Africa’s transition in 1994, and long may that continue. I send my best wishes for the happiness, security and prosperity of the people of South Africa in the next 20 years and beyond.”

From 1910 until 1961, the Monarchy of South Africa was the method of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the Union of South Africa. Along with the UK, other Commonwealth realms and dominions, South Africa shared the Sovereign.

During this time, The King’s, and later The Queen’s, constitutional functions were commonly allocated to the Governor-General of the Union of South Africa. The royal succession was directed by the 1701 English Act of Settlement.

On 31 May 1961, the monarchy was eliminated as South Africa became a republic, and was no longer a part of the Commonwealth. South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth as a republic on 1 June 1994 when Apartheid finally ended.

photo credit: Commonwealth Secretariat via photopin cc

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