King Charles and Queen Camilla will visit Kenya – where the late queen acceded the throne in 1952 – next month, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
The trip is highly significant because it is the King’s first visit to the country where Elizabeth II’s reign began as monarch. It will be King Charles and Queen Camilla’s third state visit this year and comes at the invitation of the country’s President William Ruto.
At a press conference Wednesday, aides for the King and Queen said Their Majesties are “very excited” about the busy, varied and energetic four-day itinerary that begins on October 31st in Nairobi and ends November 3rd in Mombasa.
It will be Charles’ fourth trip to the African country and follows two highly successful state visits to Germany and France. The state visit coincides with Kenya’s 60 years of independence following British colonial rule. Her late Majesty the Queen was Queen of Kenya from 1963 to 1964 when the country was an independent sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy.
While Charles and Camilla will not visit Treetops, the famous safari lodge where Princess Elizabeth was told she was Queen following the death of her father, the late monarch will be remembered in “touching tributes” during the trip, aides said. It is understood that a visit to Treetops would be a challenge because of time and logistics as it is far away from Nairobi and Mombasa where the royal itinerary is focused.
The palace said that the King and Queen are looking forward to meeting many Kenyans and the program will be heavily focused on young people. The King will host a reception focused on Kenya’s future leaders across development, trade, media, the creative arts and conservation.
The average age for Kenyans is 19 and with the Prince’s Trust actively involved in a number of initiatives in the country, promoting youth features prominently in the itinerary along with sustainability and climate change. There will also be a focus on conservation and Charles and Camilla will go on a safari in the Nairobi National Park to witness the work of the Kenya Wildlife Service and to learn more about the country’s anti-poaching efforts and visit an elephant orphanage. The Queen will also meet with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, learning how they are supported and sharing her own insights from working in this area.
During the visit the royals will meet with the country’s President and First Lady Rachel Ruto and attend a state dinner. They will also meet UN staff, CEOs, faith leaders and future leaders as well as Kenyan Marines training with the UK royal marines.
Palace aides said that the visit will acknowledge Kenya’s past and the “painful aspects” of the two countries’ shared history including the Mau Mau rebellions against British colonial rule in the 1950s during which thousands of Kenyans were killed.