King Charles and Queen Camilla have landed in Kenya to commence their state visit, arriving in an RAF jet that runs on sustainable aviation fuel.
The RAF Voyager aircraft, which flew from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to Nairobi, used a unique biofuel called Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), a lower-carbon alternative to traditional jet fuel. A spokesperson from the Palace revealed that 40 percent of this eco-friendly fuel was used for their African royal tour.
Their official visit in Kenya began with a grand ceremonial welcome at the State House in Nairobi. This marks King Charles’s first visit to a Commonwealth country since his ascension to the throne. Upon arrival, he was warmly received by President William Ruto and the First Lady, Rachel Ruto.
The King took his place on the dais as a Royal Salute was performed, accompanied by a 21-gun salute. He also exchanged greetings with the Chief of the Kenyan Defence Forces and commanders from the Army, Air Force, and Navy. Following the welcome ceremony, King Charles engaged in a bilateral meeting with President Ruto, discussing topics of mutual interest. Queen Camilla also held discussions with the First Lady. Later in the day, the royal couple visited the Uhuru Gardens National Monument and Museum, dedicated to Kenya’s history.
At the monument, King Charles and President Ruto laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. They continued their tour by visiting the MÅcgomo Tree, the historic site of Kenya’s declaration of independence in 1963. The King and Queen paid their respects to the statues of Mekatilili wa Menza and Dedan Kimathi, both notable figures in the Kenyan struggle for independence.
They then walked through the Hall of Witness and the Tunnel of Martyrs, commemorating Kenyans who sacrificed their lives in various conflicts throughout the nation’s history. Inside the museum’s atrium, local schoolchildren joined the royal couple to explore exhibits documenting Kenya’s history and its journey to independence. The visit will culminate in a state dinner on Tuesday evening, during which King Charles is expected to deliver a significant speech.
It is anticipated that the King will express regret for Britain’s role in suppressing the Mau Mau uprising, as calls for a meaningful apology and compensation for colonial-era abuses continue to mount. A decade ago, the UK government agreed to pay nearly £20 million in compensation to Kenyan victims of torture during the Mau Mau uprising. This visit to Kenya reflects the ongoing efforts to foster diplomatic relations and acknowledge historical injustices.