King Charles III visits Kenya

By Esther Muhozi
On 31 October 2023 at 08:23

King Charles III of Britain has commenced his inaugural four-day visit to Kenya, marking his first visit by a British monarch to a former colony. During this visit, he intends to address the "painful facets" of a shared history, which encompassed decades of colonial domination.

It is also his first visit to Africa since he ascended the throne following the death of her mother Queen Elizaveth II last year.

King Charles III and Princess Camilla arrived in Kenya on the night of October 30, 2023. On the following Tuesday, October 31, 2023, they were formally welcomed by the President of Kenya, William Ruto, who emphasized the significance of their visit for the bilateral relations between the two nations.

During their four-day stay in Nairobi, King Charles III is scheduled to engage with Kenyan entrepreneurs and youth and participate in a dinner hosted by President Ruto. Additionally, the royal couple is planning to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Uhuru Gardens, a pivotal site where Kenya declared its independence in 1963.

The King and Queen are also expected to make a visit to the port of Mombasa, where they will meet with religious leaders and church representatives for discussions. The United Kingdom has announced that this visit, following King Charles III’s recent trips to France and Germany, will play a role in fortifying the diplomatic ties between the UK and Kenya.

It is worth noting that this visit holds historical significance as Kenya prepares to commemorate its 60th Independence Day. This historical backdrop includes the period of 1952-1960, marked by the Mau Mau wars, a struggle by the people to liberate themselves from colonial rule, which tragically claimed the lives of over 10,000 individuals, primarily from the Kikuyu tribe. In 2013, an agreement was reached for the repatriation of 5,000 affected families from the Mau Mau war, but this was never implemented.

King Charles’s visit is particularly momentous as it marks 40 years since Queen Elizabeth II of England last visited Kenya. In light of these historical events, the Kenyan Human Rights Commission has called for King Charles III to issue an apology on behalf of his country for the past atrocities committed during the colonial era.

Britain's King Charles is hosted by Kenya's President William Ruto at State House in Nairobi, Kenya October 31, 2023. The Kenyan Human Rights Commission has called for the King to issue an apology on behalf of his country for the past atrocities committed during the colonial era. Photo by REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya