In a significant milestone, King Charles III and Queen Camilla have embarked on a State Visit to Kenya, commencing from October 31st to November 3rd, 2023. The visit is a remarkable occasion to celebrate the enduring bond between Kenya and the United Kingdom and to strengthen the dynamic partnership that the two nations continue to nurture.
A Historic Occasion and Royal First
This State Visit carries immense historical significance as it marks His Majesty King Charles III’s first visit to a Commonwealth nation since ascending to the throne. The choice of Kenya holds a special place in history as it is where Queen Elizabeth II’s reign began in February 1952.
A Comprehensive Itinerary
The King and Queen’s visit encompasses various regions, including Nairobi City County, Mombasa County, and their surroundings. The royal itinerary mirrors the collaborative efforts between Kenya and the United Kingdom. Key areas of focus include mutual prosperity, climate change mitigation, youth empowerment and employment, sustainable development, and regional stability.
Engaging with Diverse Stakeholders
During their visit, Their Majesties will engage with a diverse range of individuals and organizations. This includes meetings with President Ruto and the First Lady, UN staff, CEOs, faith leaders, young people, future leaders, and Kenyan Marines training with UK Royal Marines.
Honoring Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai
The King will also participate in an event commemorating the life and work of the late Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai. Together with Wangari’s daughter, Wanjira Mathai, this event will acknowledge the important contributions of a remarkable individual.
Celebrating Shared Connections
The King and Queen’s program will emphasize the close ties between the British and Kenyan people in various fields, such as the creative arts, technology, enterprise, education, and innovation. The visit will also pay homage to the shared history of the UK and Kenya, including the period of the Emergency (1952-1960). His Majesty will take this opportunity to deepen his understanding of the historical injustices experienced by the people of Kenya.
Acknowledging Historical Moments
Their Majesties will undertake significant activities, including a visit to a new museum dedicated to Kenya’s history and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Uhuru Gardens. Additionally, they will visit the site where Kenya declared its independence in 1963.
Highlights of the Royal Itinerary
The royal visit will encompass several noteworthy events:
- Ceremonial welcome at State House in Nairobi.
- Bilateral meetings with President Ruto, First Lady, and a State Banquet hosted by the President.
- Visit the United Nations Office in Nairobi to gain insights into the work of UN-Habitat and the UN Environment Programme.
- Attendance at a technology showcase to meet Kenyan entrepreneurs driving innovation.
- Hosting a reception focused on Kenya’s young people and future leaders.
- Visit to a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery, participating in an act of Remembrance.
- A visit to Nairobi National Park to witness Kenya Wildlife Service’s conservation efforts.
- Her Majesty, Patron of the equine welfare charity Brooke, will explore efforts to rescue donkeys and promote their welfare.
- His Majesty, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, and The Queen will visit Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa to witness defense collaboration.
- The Queen will meet survivors of sexual and gender-based violence to understand their support systems.
- The King will engage with faith leaders to promote harmony among Mombasa’s diverse community.
This State Visit represents a significant step forward in the strong and enduring relationship between Kenya and the United Kingdom, fostering collaboration across multiple domains.