1979 – Royal Tour of South Africa

Royal Tour of South Africa

19 July – 4 August 1979

In 1979, Queen Elizabeth II, on behalf of Britain toured Tanzania (19-22 July), Malawi (22-25 July), Botswana (25-27 July), and Zambia (27 July – 4 August). The tour was to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting being held in Lusaka. She toured with Prince Philip and her son, Prince Andrew.

The aim of the tour, with the United Nations, was to achieve peace and justice in Southern Africa and to play an active part in the development and strengthening of the Commonwealth by promoting successful co-operation between industrialised and developing countries for the benefit of both.

The visit to Zambia was considered a risky undertaking due to the questionable level of safety for a visiting monarch in Zambia at the time – a VIP flight had recently been attacked in Zambian air space. Many were strongly of the belief that the Queen should not go ahead with the tour. However, Elizabeth was resolved to make the trip.

Commemorative Covers