Nairobi News

GeneralMust ReadNews

Five things that stood out during King Charles’ recent visit to Kenya

By Winnie Mabel November 5th, 2023 3 min read

British monarchs King Charles III and Queen Camilla left Kenya on November 3, 2023, after winding up a four-day state visit that began on October 31, 2023.

For the first time in 70 years since the late Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne and her death, a sitting British monarch visited Kenya in their royal capacity. This, however, was Charles’ third visit to Kenya having visited the East African nation while he was still a prince.

Nairobi News now brings you five things that particularly stood out during the visit:

  1. State welcome- The King and Queen received a state welcome, often a preserve for sitting presidents on official visit. A military guard of honor received them at State House, Nairobi and he proceeded to inspect the guard. A 21-gun salute was also conducted by the military. In a monarchy, a king or queen is the Head of State. According to the Royal Family’s official website, the British Monarchy is known as a constitutional monarchy. This means that, while the Sovereign is Head of State, the ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament. Although the Sovereign no longer has a political or executive role, he or she continues to play an important part in the life of the nation. As Head of State, The Monarch undertakes constitutional and representational duties.
  2. Military officer falling behind King Charles while at State House Nairobi- A Kenya Army officer who had been rushing to escort the King to their vehicle tripped and fell behind the visiting monarch. The female officer had been rushing to open the door for Queen Camilla as they prepared to head to Uhuru Gardens. She immediately rose and carried on with her duties unbothered.
  3. Opposition leader Raila Odinga attending the State Banquet held in honor of the visiting monarchs- This was a sight to behold for millions of Kenyans and viewers across the world. For months, the ruling government had been putting up a confrontational front against Mr Odinga, and had the accompanying combative language to match. However, many expressed surprise that he was invited to the Banquet and even had his time with King Charles III as President William Ruto engaged with them at the same time. This did not go down well with Mr Odinga’s detractors.
  4. Sky Sports commentator claiming King Charles did not owe Kenya an apology for colonial atrocities- King Charles spoke on the atrocities during the State Banquet, saying his nation had no excuses for what happened. He, however, did not issue a formal apology. Following this, a Sky Sports commentator claimed the King did not owe Kenya an apology because Britons taught Kenyans English and brought them democracy. This did not sit well with Kenyans who found the commentary distasteful and unwarranted.
  5. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua being absent as King Charles spoke on the colonial atrocities and stopping short of formally apologizing- Mau Mau veterans have been calling for the British to apologize to Kenya and pay reparations for what occurred post-independence. Many expected that DP Gachagua- who touts himself as a son of Mau Mau- would have been present and at the forefront of steering this conversation considering his proximity to power. Instead, he had been in Europe seeing to it that coffee farmers from the Mount Kenya region had ready markets for their produce. At the same time, in his absence, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi shone as he was the one tapped to welcome the monarchs to the country and sat in on private meetings between the King and President Ruto. Many claimed PCS Mudavadi was being groomed to replace DP Gachagua and this was just one of the many instances for him to step up. Again, DP Gachagua also swore in the past he would never let opposition leader Raila Odinga near the State House or President Ruto but in his absence, President Ruto invited Raila to the banquet and provided him with an opportunity to engage with the King.
  6. Also read: Four special groups of students to watch keenly over this long holiday

    King Kaka’s wife Nana Awiti asks women to ‘drop ego’ and let men lead the family

    Did Blessing Lung’aho cause Jacky Matubia, Milly Chebby’s beef?