King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived in Kenya Tuesday for their first visit to a Commonwealth country since the start of his reign.
Their majesties received a ceremonial welcome upon arrival and were greeted at State House in Nairobi by the President and First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Dr. William and Rachel Ruto. The royals received a salute in keeping with royal protocol and attended bi-lateral meetings with the president and First Lady.
A spokesman for the British government has described the trip as hugely important for future relations between the UK and Kenya. The UK’s Secretary of State James Cleverly is on the tour along with other delegates.
The four-day visit is timed to coincide with Kenya’s 60 years of independence. Despite some controversy over the King not apologizing for the treatment of Kenyans during the Mau Mau rebellion (also known as the Kenya Emergency) from 1952 to 1962, which left tens of thousands of people dead, Buckingham Palace has said the King “will acknowledge the more painful aspects of the UK and Kenya’s shared history.”
While the King held a meeting with the Kenyan president shortly after arriving, the Queen had an audience with the First Lady to learn more about her organization, MaMa Doing Good, which focuses on environment and climate action, the economic empowerment of women, and faith diplomacy.
Later Tuesday, their majesties will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Uhuru Gardens. While there, they will also view the Mugomo fig tree planted where the Union Jack was lowered and the Kenyan flag raised in December 1963 when Kenya became a republic. They will also visit a new museum dedicated to Kenya’s history where they will unveil a plaque.