King Charles and Queen Camilla kick off state visit to Kenya

King Charles and Queen Camilla kick off state visit to Kenya

Inaugurating their regal visit to Kenya, the King and Queen were graced with an elaborate ceremonial reception in the heart of Nairobi. Charles and Camilla arrived at the State House, the official residence of the President, where their gracious hosts had laid out a crimson carpet. Approximately 100 members of the military, bedecked in resplendent scarlet attire, formed a stately procession in the courtyard, awaiting the arrival of their royal dignitaries.

Alighting from a Land Rover Discovery, the couple were met with cordial handshakes from the President of the Republic, Dr. William Ruto, and the First Lady, Rachel. They were subsequently introduced to Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Francis Ogalla, the Chief of Kenya’s Defense Forces.

Camilla, donned in an exquisite white Anna Valentine crepe silk gown and adorned with a diamond oyster brooch formerly owned by Elizabeth II, held an umbrella aloft. Fortunately, the persistent morning rain ceased mere moments before the couple’s arrival, yielding to a radiant sunshine.

Upon the dais in front of the State House, the King and the President stood in tandem alongside their respective national banners, while a guard of honor rendered a regal salute and the Kenya Defense Force ensemble performed the national anthems of both the United Kingdom and Kenya.

Following a resounding 21-gun salute, the King proceeded to inspect the guard as the orchestra continued their harmonious melodies. Subsequently, he engaged with Kenyan government ministers and acquainted the President with James Cleverly, the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs. In a gesture of commemoration, Charles and Camilla planted two Afrocarpus gracilior trees, indigenous to Africa, on the estate grounds.

After the warm reception, Charles and Camilla ventured to Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens. There, the King unveiled a commemorative plaque and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

Their next destination was the Mũgomo Tree, planted on December 12, 1964, in honor of Kenya’s declaration of independence.

Samson Malaki, the curator at the nearby Mashujaa Museum, shared his reflections on the tree’s historical significance. “This tree represents a pivotal chapter in our history,” he mused. “It isn’t just a historic landmark; it’s a sacred memorial. Our nation sprouted from the trials we endured, becoming an enduring testament to our shared journey.”

Intrigued by the Mũgomo Tree’s historical significance, the King inquired if it bore fruit.

En route back to the State House, Charles and Camilla paused at the stately entrance to capture a photographic moment with the President and First Lady. Subsequently, they ventured indoors to inscribe their names in guest books and engage in bilateral discussions with their esteemed hosts.

While the King and President Ruto held a tête-à-tête in the President’s private chambers, delving into matters of mutual concern, the First Lady escorted Camilla to an art gallery, where she unveiled a collection of images and expounded upon the noble endeavors of Mama Doing Good. This socio-economic development organization, founded in 1997, has been instrumental in aiding women, youth, and marginalized individuals in Kenya.

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