Details Of King Charles III's Planned Visit To Kenya

In addition, the visit is expected to be a memorable one as both countries have rich histories and strong cultures tied to each other.

Details Of King Charles III's Planned Visit To Kenya
An official portrait of King Charles III. /TWITTER.THE ROYAL FAMILY

Newly-crowned King Charles III of the United Kingdom (UK) is reported to be making preparations for his first official visit to Kenya later this year.

Multiple reports by UK media revealed that the visit to Kenya will be for the purposes of strengthening relations between the UK and Kenya as well as promoting the goals of the Commonwealth.

In addition, the visit is expected to be a memorable one as both countries have rich histories and strong cultures tied to each other.

For King Charles, the visit is reported to be an emotive one since this is the place where his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, was when she was crowned at the age of 25 following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952.

Then-Prince Charles on safari in the Masai Game Reserve on February 15, 1971, in Nairobi. /GETTY IMAGES

"It will be a poignant moment. Inevitably it will be a reminder of his young mother at the start of her reign. Now, he is at the start of his, but he has the advantage of experience, too. It will also be an important marker for his reign that will underline how importantly he views the Commonwealth.

“His Majesty wants to bring people together. He knows the relationship will change between the Royal Family and the realms and other Commonwealth countries, but is keen to preserve and protect the common values,” a source told the Daily Mail.

The Commonwealth is an organization made up of 54 member countries, most of which are former British colonies. It aims to promote economic, social, and cultural cooperation among its members, and to advance the values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

The King was only three years old when her late mother ascended to the throne while in Kenya. The late Queen Elizabeth II, full name Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, had in 2022 celebrated her platinum jubilee to mark 70 years of her reign, prior to her demise on September 8, 2022.

She was crowned in June 1953, in Westminster Abbey, in the first-ever broadcast coronation.

The then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip had landed in Nairobi less than a week before to start a world tour on behalf of the ailing King George. The Royal couple visited Sagana Lodge, a bungalow given as a wedding present by Kenya's government.

They then went on to the Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park. The late monarch entered a treehouse among the branches of a giant mugumo (fig) tree as a Princess and came down as a Queen.

The hotel was later destroyed by the Mau Mau and rebuilt. However, the area holds memories for the King, who has visited Kenya four times.

Nearby is the Prince Charles Campsite, a forest clearing where Charles grew his first beard while on safari during a visit with his sister, Princess Anne. Other trips followed in 1977, 1978 and 1987.

Despite his personal connection with Kenya, the new King's visit may be met with some opposition from Kenyans who feel that the British government has not done enough to address the legacy of imperialism in the country.

Land grievances and the repression of the Mau Mau uprising are just two of the issues that some Kenyans feel have not been adequately addressed by the British government.

This comes in the backdrop of the death of Mukami Kimathi, the widow of freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi. During her funeral on Saturday, May 13, the government promised to address the welfare of freedom fighters and their descendants, many of who lost their land.

The planned visit also comes after President William Ruto attended the Coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6; the first of its kind in the UK in 70 years.

Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip during a safari in Kenya in 1952. /BBC