"Is it always as hot as this?" asked Her Majesty, relaxing for an instant her almost permanent smile. The answer was an eager no. South Africans, sweltering in their hottest summer in years, with temperatures hovering around 100°, found the radiant warmth of royalty much more comfortable than the sun.

As the Royal Family, assiduously escorted by their busy host Prime MinisterSmuts—whom the King personally invested with the Order of Merit—shuttled between official receptions and informal garden parties, intransigent nationalists wilted left & right before the family's charm. Daniel Malan, nationalist leader of the opposition, conscientiously boycotted Parliament's address of welcome,...

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