30 October 2023

Charles and Camilla to fly to Kenya for the start of their state visit

30 October 2023

The King and Queen will begin their first state visit to a Commonwealth country when they travel to Kenya.

Charles will acknowledge the “painful aspects” of UK and Kenya’s shared history during the couple’s five-day state visit, being held as the east African nation celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain.

Kenya became independent on December 12 1963 and the two countries have enjoyed a close relationship since, despite the violent colonial legacy of the Mau Mau uprising which led to a period known as the Emergency.

The King and Queen’s welcome to Kenya later on Monday will be an administrative arrival with the formal ceremonial greeting in the capital Nairobi coming later in the week.

Chris Fitzgerald, deputy private secretary to the King, said when the visit was first announced a few weeks ago: “During the visit, their majesties will meet President Ruto and the first lady as well as other members of the Kenyan government, UN staff, CEOs, faith leaders, young people, future leaders and Kenyan marines training with UK Royal Marines.”

Highlights of Charles and Camilla’s state visit include their visit to Nairobi National Park to learn about Kenya Wildlife Service’s conservation work.

The King and Queen will also watch Kenyan marines, trained by the Royal Marines, stage a mock covert beach landing when they visit Mtongwe naval base in Mombasa.

The King’s deputy private secretary also said: “The King and Queen’s programme will celebrate the close links between the British and Kenyan people in areas such as the creative arts, technology, enterprise, education and innovation.

“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.”

Kenya has a unique association with the British royal family as it is the country where Queen Elizabeth II was told of the death of her father, King George VI, and acceded to the throne.

The then princess was making an official visit with the Duke of Edinburgh to Kenya, and was staying at the Treetops hotel, a lodge deep in the Aberdare National Park, when the King died on February 6 1952.

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