The King and Queen have arrived in Kenya for the start of a five-day state visit – their first to a Commonwealth country.
Charles and Camilla’s royal tour comes as the East African nation celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain.
The head of state and his wife flew to the capital Nairobi on RAF Voyager and were greeted by a small group of officials during an administrative arrival, ahead of a formal ceremonial welcome on Tuesday.
The ministerial jet flew to Kenya with its fuel tanks filled with 40% sustainable aviation fuel, at Charles’s request.
✈️ The King and Queen flew to Kenya today ahead of their State Visit, which begins tomorrow.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 30, 2023
A video posted on the royal family’s official social media accounts showed the King and Queen behind the scenes during their journey.
Both were wearing glasses and reading intently from folders, presumably in preparation for their official tour, as they sat on padded airline seats on either side of the aisle, with the sound of the plane in flight clearly audible.
Next to the King, who was wearing a shirt and tie but no jacket and had his spectacles perched on the end of his nose, was a cup and saucer, a plastic water bottle and an empty glass.
In front of the monarch was another burgundy binder, embossed with his golden cypher, and a wooden handled umbrella.
Camilla looked business-like in a navy trouser suit, navy jumper and crisp white open necked shirt.
Queen Elizabeth II was in Kenya on her accession in 1952. She & Prince Philip were staying at Sagana Lodge, Nyeri, where they received the news of King George VI’s death. The late Queen gave the lodge to the people of Kenya to mark the country’s independence in 1963. pic.twitter.com/Jtt2tzgtNo
— Royal Collection Trust (@RCT) October 30, 2023
The King and Queen’s programme reflects the areas where Kenya and the UK are working together, from tackling climate change and promoting youth opportunity and employment to working to establish a more stable region.
During their state visit the couple will interact with a wide range of people from Kenyan society, from the King holding a bilateral meeting with President William Ruto to meeting members of the Kenyan government, UN staff, faith leaders, young people and Kenyan marines.
Highlights of Charles and Camilla’s state visit include a trip to Nairobi National Park to learn about the Kenya Wildlife Service’s conservation work.
The King and Queen will also watch Kenyan marines, trained by the Royal Marines, staging a mock covert beach landing when they visit Mtongwe naval base in Mombasa.
— UK in Kenya 🇬🇧🇰🇪 (@UKinKenya) October 25, 2023
During the visit, Charles will acknowledge the “painful aspects“ of the UK and Kenya’s shared history.
Kenya gained independence from Britain on December 12 1963 and the two countries have enjoyed a close relationship since, despite the violent colonial legacy of the Mau Mau uprising, which led to a period known as the Emergency.
Chris Fitzgerald, deputy private secretary to the King, said when the foreign tour was first announced a few weeks ago: “The visit will also acknowledge the more painful aspects of the UK and Kenya shared history, including the Emergency (1952–1960).
“His Majesty will take time during the visit to deepen his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya.”