Queen is to visit S Africa

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BUCKINGHAM Palace confirmed last night that the Queen had 'accepted in principle' an invitation to visit South Africa, following its formal readmission into the Commonwealth last month.

Alfred Nzo, the country's foreign minister, told parliament in Cape Town that the Queen would visit next year, following visits by the Princess Royal in November and Prime Minister John Major next month.

Both royal visits are still at the planning stage. It will be the first visit by a British monarch since 1947, when King George VI, Queen Elizabeth - now the Queen Mother - and Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret toured the country.

Mr Major's visit will be the first by a British prime minister since Harold Macmillan in 1960 when he made his 'wind of change' speech.