Kenya: British King to 'Deepen Understanding' of 'Painful' Colonial Past At Meeting With Ruto

Britain’s King Charles III will meet with Kenyan President William Ruto in Nairobi in about three weeks. Charles will address “painful aspects” of Britain’s colonial past, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday.

During the four-day visit, scheduled for October 31 to November 3, Charles and Ruto will tour the Nairobi National Park and attend a state banquet. The two are expected to discuss the climate crisis, the importance of conservation efforts and working together on national security, Chris Fitzgerald, the king’s deputy private secretary, said in a press conference.

Charles will also acknowledge the fraught history between the two nations a decade after Britain paid reparations for the horrors of the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s, a conflict in which thousands of Kenyans were slain by British authorities.

“His majesty will take time during the visit to deepen his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya,” Fitzgerald said.

Nairobi has a particular significance for the royal family. In 1952, while in Kenya, then-Princess Elizabeth, Charles’s mother, learned that she had become queen upon the death of her father, King George VI. Charles himself visited the East African nation in 1971.

The meeting comes as Kenya celebrates 60 years of independence from Britain. Nairobi is Charles’s latest destination for diplomacy after successful royal tours in Germany in March and France last month.

This is the king’s latest effort to bolster ties with former British colonies. In 2022, Charles attended a meeting for the heads of Commonwealth governments.

The Commonwealth is a group of 56 independent countries, including Kenya, the majority of which were once under British rule.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.