King Charles III, Queen Camilla jet in with little fanfare

Queen Camilla and King Charles III. [Getty]

British Monarch King Charles III and Queen Camilla landed in Kenya with little fanfare as expected when world leaders visit.

It is the king’s first state visit to a Commonwealth country since he was coronated on May 6 this year

The trip is the fourth by a British Monarch after the King’s mother Queen Elizabeth II visited Kenya three times during her long reign; A stopover in 1972, a state visit in 1983 and another stopover in 1991.

Kenya is in a sense special to King Charles since his mother Queen Elizabeth took the reins in February 1952 while on a visit to Kenya. She arrived as Princess of Wales while her father George VI was ailing and it was here that she received news that he had died.

The Royal Couple stayed at Sagana Lodge and Tree Top, Nyeri County.

She cut short her trip and flew back to Britain to take up her new role.

A source who sought anonymity told The Standard that their majesties are treated as very very important persons (VVIPs) and arrived using the State Pavilion Terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, reserved for the president, deputy president, ministers and diplomats.

Unlike when US President Barack Obama visited Kenya in July 2015 and during US First Lady Jill Biden’s recent trip where terminal two was closed for her arrival, things have been different for the British Monarch.

A source who sought anonymity said due to the timings of their Majesties arrival, activities will be expected to go on as usual and life may remain usual in the city.

“It is highly unlikely that any terminus will be closed in Nairobi. The State pavilion was reserved for their arrival,’’ he said

It’s said that for Obama and Jill, the rules were tougher as they jetted in during the day, unlike their Majesties who arrived at night.

The king’s first official engagement will be at State House Nairobi where he will meet President William Ruto where he will be accorded full State honours with a 21-gun salute.

The king will then inspect a guard of honour before holding talks with Ruto. The king will then proceed to various stopovers, including Uhuru Gardens Museum.

In Nairobi County where their Majesties are expected to visit several places, Governor Johnson Sakaja says plans have been ongoing for months from the time the visit was set to ensure the king and queen have a memorable stay.

“We are proud as Nairobi because we will see various elements of the county like the matatu culture as part of the convoys showcasing the culture with graffiti showing various elements of the city,” Sakaja said at a press conference in the city

The governor said Nairobi has a rich cultural heritage that will be showcased to their Majesties

“Nairobi was the first city to get a charter from British authorities and it is an honour to be the first destination that the king of England visits after his coronation. We are happy that Nairobi was chosen so we can deepen our relations.”

The UK Embassy in Kenya on Friday unveiled royal matatus ahead of the much-anticipated visit.

Some of the featured art includes the Maasai culture, the iconic KICC, the British Flag and flamingos among others.

Sakaja said security was enhanced after they got a brief from the UK following his visit there two weeks ago

“Security has been well catered for by relevant joint teams who have been preparing for their arrival,” said Sakaja.

“I had a tour of Buckingham Palace in preparation for the visit where we agreed on different places where we will showcase our city... whether they will be visiting jointly and separately.” 

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