King and Queen tour LIVE: Charles wipes away a tear on day one of Kenya state visit

king charles tears

The King was seen wiping away tears (Image: GETTY)

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s royal tour in Kenya will be a delicate balancing act for the monarch as His Majesty addresses the horrors of colonial rule in the East African country, but will avoid directly taking responsibility.

It has been confirmed that the King will discuss the Mau Mau rebellion that took place in the 1950s, and will not stop over at the Treetops Lodge for a visit despite it being a significant location for his late mother, as it was where Elizabeth learned she had become Queen.

Writing for the New York Times, Mark Landler dismissed the idea of a “sentimental pilgrimage” to Treetops as “it is redolent of the kind of white, colonial, safari glamour that the king would do well to avoid on his first visit to a former British colony”.

Nic Cheeseman, a professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham, said of the visit: “He’s walking a tightrope. He wants to say something strong enough to show that he gets it, but not so strong that it opens him to calls for more reparations.”

Upon their arrival in Kenya the royal couple were greeted at State House in Nairobi, Kenya for a ceremonial welcome.

They were then welcomed by the President, His Excellency Dr William Ruto and the First Lady, Her Excellency Mrs Rachel Ruto.

On Tuesday morning, the President rolled out the red carpet for King Charles and Queen Camilla at the State House, complete with a red carpet and a 21-gun salute from the Kenyan navy.

Not long after attending a bilateral meeting with the President, Charles participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Warrire in the Uhuru Gardens.

The King appeared to be overcome with emotion after laying his own wreath, and was pictured wiping away a tear. 

For all the latest updates from the tour, follow the live blog below.

King Charles will address Mau Mau rebellion but avoid talk of reparations

King Charles will be more candid than his mother Queen Elizabeth was while in Kenya, but is expected to stop short of acknowledging calls for further reparations.

In 2013 over £19 million was paid out to Kenyan torture victims by the British Government, following the atrocities committed during the Kenyan uprising against their British colonisers in the 1950s.

Buckingham Palace said His Majesty “would acknowledge the more painful aspects of the U.K. and Kenya’s shared history”, and although the royals have expressed their sorrow over colonialism and slavery they usually stop short of an apology.

King Charles makes a speech

King Charles will address Kenya’s colonial past (Image: Getty)

Georgina Laud

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Lauren Welch

The King smiles as he attends a Tech and Innovation showcase at Nairobi Garages

King Charles smiles as he attends a Tech and Innovation showcase at Nairobi Garages on October 31. He met young technology entrepreneurs upon arrival.

The King appears relaxed on the first day in Kenya (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

The King picked produce from an urban farm today

The King picked produce from an urban farm today and presented it to a hospital’s chef as he learnt about a Kenyan project that has given new life to waste ground.

Charles pulled out spinach, kale and curly kale leaves from the ground after he was given a guided tour of City Shamba, a city farm initiative, on the first full day of his state visit to Kenya.

A large patch of land behind Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in the capital Nairobi has been transformed in just 12 months into a thriving organic holding, producing a wide range of vegetables and herbs and also chickens, two ponds to raise fish – and snails.

Hospital chef Nelly Njagi, who was handed a basket of vegetables leaves with the final few picked by the King, said afterwards: “He asked if this was for the patients and I told him it was. Having this organic food available is very good for their recovery.” 

The King was also shown a selection of large African land snails bred by staff at the farm and laughed when told by Gregory Kimani, City Shamba’s founder and chief executive officer, the slime is used by the beauty industry for women’s facial products.

Charles marvelled at the larvae of black soldier files used to turn vegetable waste into fertiliser and seemed impressed by the farm’s use of natural pesticides, including rabbit urine, and vertical planting.

 For a brief moment he popped into a polytunnel where roasting temperatures are helping to ripen tomatoes.

Mr Kimani said after the royal visit: “Taking the King around the farm means that our idea is something that can go out there and it can be accepted anywhere by anyone. So we are very much glad for the validation of the idea.

“Growing our crops organically was a huge thing for him, he really liked the idea of how we are growing things and really taking back control of our own food system.”

– Words by Richard Palmer, Express Royal Correspondent

King Charles pictured in Kenya today (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

Their Majesties, the President and the First Lady view a Mũgumo tree in Uhuru Gardens

Their Majesties, the President and the First Lady view a Mũgumo (fig) tree in Uhuru Gardens.

Their Majesties, the President and the First Lady view a Mu0169gumo (fig) tree in Uhuru Gardens.

ud83cuddecud83cudde7 ud83cuddf0ud83cuddea The tree marks the spot where, on the night of December 12, 1963, Kenya celebrated its independence by lowering the Union Flag and raising the flag of Kenya. pic.twitter.com/aIBLwKfRNp

u2014 The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 31, 2023

Emily Ferguson

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Lauren Welch

The King and Queen honour Kenyan independence heroes

The King and Queen honoured Kenyan independence heroes once designated terrorists by Britain during a visit to the national museum in Nairobi today.

They paid tribute to Mau Mau fighters and others who took part in the long struggle for Kenyan statehood under British colonial rule.

King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 76, were given a sneak preview tour of the Mashujaa Museum, which is due to open to the public early next year, shortly after Kenya celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence on December 12.

It tells the national story and contains a Tunnel of Martyrs, which the royal couple walked down, stopping at each panel to view descriptions of the independence struggle and those who fell fighting for it. The tunnel also has panels dedicated to those killed in Islamist violence since independence, including the 67 people killed when an Al Shabaab gunmen ran amok in the Westgate Mall shopping centre in Nairobi in 2013.

The King and Queen stopped to look at panels about the Mau Mau Uprising between 1952 and 1960. 

On their way into the museum they also  acknowledged, with brief but respectful glances, statues of two independence fighters. They paid their respects to the statues of Mekatilili wa Menza – a feminist who led the Giriama people in a revolt against the colonial administration between 1912 and 1915 – and Dedan Kimathi, who led the Mau Mau armed military struggle against the British in the 1950s until his capture in 1956 and execution a year later.

The King was asking questions about the uprising as he was shown around. “And this happened in 1954?”he asked at one point as the man responsible for creating the museum, Airforce Brigadier General Oswald Opiyo, led him around.

Words by Richard Palmer, Express Royal Correspondent

The couple are currently in Kenya (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

Students met the King in Kenya

Meeting the King, young people from the Turkana region of Kenya were bringing the energy today.

They met the monarch as part of his four-day visit to Kenya this week.

The young students were full of energy as they met the King (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

Queen Camilla reads in Kenya as part of the Prince’s Trust International Enterprise Challenge

Queen Camilla reads Lion and Mouse during her visit to Eastlands Library, with King Charles III, where she met the founders of Book Bunk, a Kenyan charity that restores public libraries and the King will join young people taking part in a Prince’s Trust International Enterprise Challenge on October 31, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Queen has joined the King in Kenya (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

The King is greeted with a warm welcome

The King and Queen were given a grand ceremonial welcome in Nairobi today at the start of a four-day state visit to Kenya.

Charles and Camilla arrived at State House, the President’s official residence, where their hosts had rolled out the red carpet and around 100 members of the military, in their scarlet uniforms, were lined up in the forecourt to wait for their royal visitors.

Stepping out of a Land Rover Discovery, the couple were greeted with warm handshakes by the Republic’s President Dr William Ruto and his First Lady Rachel before being introduced to Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Francis Ogalla, Chief of Kenya’s Defence Forces.

Camilla, in a white Anna Valentine crepe silk dress and a diamond oyster brooch which had belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth, was carrying an umbrella, but luckily the rain that had persisted all morning stopped minutes before the couple’s arrival and was replaced with bright sunshine.

On the dias in front of State House, the King and the President stood side by side in front of their national flags as a guard of honour conducted a royal salute and the Kenya Defence Force band played the UK and Kenyan national anthems. 

After a 21-gun salute, the King made his way to inspect the guard of honour as the band continued to play.

Words by Richard Palmer, Express Royal Correspondent

Lauren Welch

The King poses with young people for the Prince’s Trust International Enterprise Challenge

King Charles III poses for pictures with young people that are taking part in a Prince’s Trust International Enterprise Challenge on October 31, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The King poses with young people in Kenya (Image: PA)

Emily Ferguson

King Charles wipes away a tear

King Charles appears to wipe away a tear during a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

The Kenyan and UK national anthems were played by the Kenya Defence Forces band, before the Last Post was played.

King Charles then observed a short period of reflection before laying a wreath at the Tomb. 

President Ruto then followed and laid his own wreath.

king charles in kenya

King Charles appears to wipe away a tear (Image: Getty)

Lauren Welch

King Charles ordered to discuss horrors of Mau Mau revolt in Kenya -but he won’t apologise

The King is expected to acknowledge Britain’s torture of Mau Mau suspects in Kenya when he and the Queen visit the country this week – but is not likely to apologise.

The monarch will be ordered by the Government to avoid talk of reparations for the detention and mistreatment of thousands of Kenyans by the colonial administration between 1952 and 1960.

It will be the first major royal visit to Kenya since Britain in 2013 expressed “regret” for human rights abuses ­during the Mau Mau uprising.

It settled a High Court case, agreeing to pay £19.9million in damages and legal costs to 5,228 elderly victims of torture and repression.

The King and Camilla are in Kenya (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

The royal whose depraved behaviour in Kenya saw him seduce the wife of a local official

King Charles III and Queen Camilla are set to arrive in Kenya on Tuesday, but not all members of the Royal Family left the country on a positive note.

King Edward VIII didn’t leave Kenya on the best note back in 1928, where he undertook some rather debauched behaviour.

Ahead of the King’s visit to Kenya on Tuesday, it appears that not all royals have come back to the UK with the best reputation – including the his late great-uncle.

King Edward VIII visited Kenya (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

The King laid a wreath in Nairobi

The King has laid a wreath in Nairobi.

Lauren Welch

The King lays a wreath in Nairobi

The King has laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown warrior in Nairobi.

The King and Queen walked to the Mũgomo fig tree, planted one at the spot where Kenyan independence was declared. As this happened, the Union flag was lowered and the Kenyan flag raised in December 1963.

Before the formalities began the royal couple posed with the President and First Lady for a picture for the waiting press with the president’s official residence as a backdrop.

King Charles later joined President Ruto on a dais, as a nearby Guard of Honour, formed in two rows. They gave a royal salute and the Kenya Defence Force band played the UK and Kenyan national anthems followed by a 21-gun salute.

King Charles inspected the troops as he walked past the soldiers in their red tunics and peaked caps.

Emily Ferguson

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s ceremonial welcome

King Charles and Queen Camilla received a fitting ceremonial welcome as they arrvied at the State House this morning.

They stepped out onto a red carpet and were greeted by a military band. 

Their Majesties also received a 21-gun salute.

Military band play as King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at state house

A military band plays as King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at State House (Image: Getty)

Lauren Welch

The King and Queen arrived at the Senate House

The King and Queen arrived at the Senate House on October 31, the first of their four-day visit to Kenya.

The King and Queen have arrived at State House in Nairobi for a Ceremonial Welcome to #RoyalVisitKenya where they have been received by the President and First Lady.
Queen Camilla is wearing a white crepe silk Anna Valentine dress with a diamond oyster brooch belonging to QEII pic.twitter.com/L69KZwf9Tt

u2014 Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 31, 2023

Lauren Welch

Camilla stuns in white silk dress and striking diamond brooch that belonged to late Queen

King Charles and Queen Camilla have received a warm welcome in Kenya as the couple’s five-day tour gets underway, with Her Majesty’s outfit hitting the right notes.

Queen Camilla looked elegant in a white crepe silk dress by Anna Valentine as the royal couple stepped out for the first day of their royal tour in Kenya.

Known for her simple yet classic style, the Queen opted for a three-quarter sleeve knee-length dress.

The late Queen stunned in white (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

Why King Charles won’t be visiting Treetops Hotel in Kenya with special link to late Queen

King Charles and Queen Camilla will be in Kenya this week for an official royal visit, but a trip to the Treetops Hotel is no longer a possibility.

The Treetops Game Viewing Lodge in Kenya is a particularly special location for the Royal Family, as it represents the moment the late Queen Elizabeth learned of her father’s death.

An emotional yet pivotal time, in 1952, as it was the exact moment Princess Elizabeth became monarch. On February 6 that year Elizabeth went up a tree overlooking an elephant watering hole at the lodge.

The King is currently in Kenya (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

King Charles plants a tree upon arrival in Kenya

King Charles III plants a tree while standing next to Kenyan President William Ruto during the ceremonial welcome at the State House in Nairobi.

This was followed by the couple signing a guest book.

King Charles plants a tree (Image: GETTY)

King Charles plants a tree as the President looks on (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

The King pictured with the President of the Republic of Kenya

King Charles III and The President of the Republic of Kenya William Ruto pose inside the State House on October 31, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The King with the President (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

The royal couple each both attend bilateral meetings

Queen Camilla and Rachel Ruto, first lady of the Republic of Kenya during bilateral meeting at State House on October 31, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Queen alongside the First Lady (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Welch

King Charles and Queen Camilla have arrived in Kenya

King Charles and Queen Camilla have arrived in Kenya.

Welcome to Kenya. The King (and Queen) have arrived here at the Nairobi State House on the red carpet and were greeted President William Rutto and First Lady Rachel Rutto. The King was given a Guard of Honour after a twenty-one gun salute. pic.twitter.com/Xcl2YTHpsQ

u2014 Matt Wilkinson (@MattSunRoyal) October 31, 2023

Lauren Welch

Morning

Morning from London. Welcome to our live blog for all the latest on the King and Queen Camilla’s visit to Kenya. More to follow.

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