King Charles III and Queen Camilla are on a four-day state visit to Kenya, their first overseas trip since the King’s accession to the throne last year. The visit comes amid calls for an apology over Britain’s bloody colonial past in Kenya, which lasted from 1895 to 1963.
The Monarch who is on his first visit to Africa, is visiting Kenya for a number of reasons including:
- To bolster the UK-Kenya relationship. Kenya is a key economic and military ally of the UK in a turbulent region. Charles’ visit is an opportunity to strengthen ties between the two countries and discuss areas of mutual cooperation, such as trade, investment, and security.
- To acknowledge the “painful aspects” of Britain’s colonial past in Kenya. Charles has said that he feels “great sorrow” for the atrocities committed by British colonial forces during Kenya’s struggle for independence. His visit is an opportunity to begin a process of reconciliation and healing between the UK and Kenya.
- To promote environmental protection. Charles is a passionate environmental campaigner and Kenya is a global leader in conservation efforts. During his visit, Charles will visit Nairobi National Park and Karura Forest, and meet with Kenyan leaders on environmental issues.
Charles’ visit to Kenya is a significant one, as it is his first state visit to a Commonwealth country since becoming king last year. It is also his first state visit to an African country. The visit is seen as an opportunity for Charles to strengthen ties with Kenya and other Commonwealth countries, and to address the legacy of British colonialism in Africa
On the first day of their visit, King Charles and Queen Camilla were met at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by President William Ruto and his wife, Rachel. They then drove to the State House for a formal welcome ceremony.
In the afternoon, the King visited the Nairobi National Park, where he met with rangers and learned about their work to protect Kenya’s wildlife. He also visited the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage, where he bottle-fed a baby elephant.
On the second day of their visit, the King and Queen visited the Karura Forest, where they planted a tree in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. They also met with members of the Green Belt Movement, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmental organization founded by the late Wangari Maathai.
In the afternoon, the King gave a speech at a state banquet hosted by President Ruto. In his speech, the King expressed his “deepest regret” for the “wrongdoings of the past” in Kenya, but he did not issue a full apology.
The King’s visit to Kenya is being seen as an opportunity to strengthen ties between the two countries and to address the legacy of British colonialism. The visit has also been met with protests from some Kenyans who are calling for an apology and reparations for the crimes committed during the colonial period.
It is unclear whether King Charles will make an apology during the remainder of his visit. However, his expression of regret is a significant step forward in acknowledging the pain and suffering that was caused by British colonialism.