King Charles, Queen Camilla arrive in Kenya for 4-Day state visit
AUTHOR: Citizen TV | PUBLISHED: October 31, 2023
Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla pose for a picture at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, Britain November 3, 2022 | Reuters/John Sibley
Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrived in Kenya on Monday evening for a four-day State visit.
The Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign and Diaspora Affairs CS, Musalia Mudavadi, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Neil Wigan, and other dignitaries received the monarchs at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
The royals are visiting on invitation by President William Ruto and it is their first official visit to an African nation and the first to a Commonwealth member state since their coronation in May.
It comes as Kenya prepares to celebrate 60 years of independence from Britain.
“Coming in the year of His Majesty’s Coronation, this visit so early in The King’s reign demonstrates the value we place on the thriving and modern UK-Kenya partnership, which brings mutual benefits to our two nations and the wider region,” Mr Wigan said in a press release on Monday evening.
King Charles and Queen Camilla are expected to meet President Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto at the State House on Tuesday.
A communiqué from Ms Ruto’s office said Camilla will be taken through the First Lady’s activities, including women’s economic empowerment programs.
During their visit, Charles and Camilla will visit Nairobi, Mombasa and surrounding areas.
Buckingham Palace on October 11 said the visit was aimed at celebrating the “warm relationship” between the two countries and also “acknowledge the more painful aspects of the UK and Kenya’s shared history including the Emergency” in 1952-1960, a reference to bloody rebellions against colonial rule.
“His Majesty will take time during the visit to deepen his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya,” the palace said.
“Their Majesties’ programme will reflect the ways in which Kenya and the United Kingdom are working together, notably to boost mutual prosperity, tackle climate change, promote youth opportunity and employment, advance sustainable development and create a more stable and secure region,” Buckingham Palace said.
Charles and Camilla will also meet government officials, United Nations staff, CEOs, faith leaders, young people, future leaders and Kenyan Marines training with UK Royal Marines
The King will also attend an event to celebrate the life and work of the Nobel Laureate the late Professor Wangari Maathai, together with Wangari’s daughter, Wanjira Mathai.
“The visit will also acknowledge the more painful aspects of the UK and Kenya’s shared history, including the Emergency (1952-1960). His Majesty will take time during the visit to deepen his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya,” the statement further read.
Charles and Camilla will additionally lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Uhuru Gardens, as well as visit the site of the declaration of Kenya’s independence in 1963.
Buckingham Palace said Charles III will attend a technology showcase, host a reception focussed on Kenya’s young people and future leaders, visit Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa and meet faith leaders from Mombasa.
Meanwhile, there have been calls for the British monarch to apologise during his visit for atrocities that saw about 10,000 people killed during Britain’s brutal suppression of the Mau Mau uprising.
According to Monday evening’s press release by the British High Commission in Nairobi, Charles will meet veterans and give his blessing to efforts by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission “to ensure Kenyans and Africans who supported British efforts in the World Wars are properly commemorated.”