Nelson Mandela’s chess set


Here is a photo of a gift from Nelson Mandela to Queen Elizabeth II, given during an official visit made in 1996.  The ceramic chess set depicts traditional Zulu warriors.

This chess set is in the news today because Nelson Mandela’s successor, Jacob Zuma, who is on a 3 day state visit to England, had presented the Queen with a similar set!  When he was informed of the gift of Mandela, Zuma remarked:  ”Oh, that is another set!”

As is tradition, gifts and honours were exchanged:  The Queen presented Zuma with a mounted bronze stag and a 1930s book, Hunting and Stalking Deer by Lionel Edwards and Harold Frank Wallace. Mrs. Zuma received a silver box.
The Queen also made Mr Zuma an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, and in return was given the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo gold class.
It is one of South Africa’s highest national honours, given to foreign heads of state and government for friendship shown.
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