King Charles refuses to issue apology during highly anticipated speech in Kenya

King Charles

King Charles making his speech at State House

Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 31/10/2023

- 17:48

Updated: 31/10/2023

- 18:55

The King and Queen dined at a State Banquet tonight

King Charles refused to issue an apology during his highly-anticipated speech at tonight's State Banquet in Kenya.

The King instead described Britain's treatment of Kenyans during the Mau Mau uprising as "abhorrent".

King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived in Kenya late on Monday evening and began their packed itinerary today.

The 74-year-old monarch had faced calls from activists for an apology for Britain's colonial past in Kenya, but he did not say the word "sorry" during his speech this evening.

King Charles

King Charles did not apologise during his speech


Queen Camilla

Queen Camilla accompanied her husband tonight


Despite refusing to apologise, the King did make an expression of regret in his speech in front of 350 guests at State House.

Charles recalled his family’s visits to Kenya and the fact that his son Prince William chose to ask Princess Kate to marry him while holidaying in Kenya in 2010.

The King said: “It is the intimacy of our shared history that has brought our people together.

“However, we must also acknowledge the most painful times of our long and complex relationship.

WATCH NOW: King Charles and Queen Camilla at State Banquet

“The wrongdoings of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret.

"There were abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans as they waged, as you said at the United Nations, a painful struggle for independence and sovereignty – and for that, there can be no excuse.

“In coming back to Kenya, it matters greatly to me that I should deepen my own understanding of these wrongs, and that I meet some of those whose lives and communities were so grievously affected.”

In 2013, Britain expressed “regret” for their past human rights abuses during the Mau Mau uprising and settled a High Court case, agreeing to pay £19.9million in damages and legal costs to 5,228 elderly victims of torture and repression.

Queen Camilla and King Charles

Queen Camilla and King Charles arrived at the State Banquet together


Queen Camilla and King Charles

Queen Camilla and King Charles dining at State House


Earlier today, the King and Queen honoured the Kenyan independence heroes at the new national museum in Nairobi.

Charles and Camilla paid tribute to Mau Mau fighters who fought for Kenyan independence under British colonial rule.

Queen Camilla accompanied her husband to State House for the State Banquet this evening, where she wore a treasured necklace belonging to her late grandmother.

You may like