King Charles III expresses 'deepest regret', stops short of an apology

"In coming back to Kenya, it matters greatly to me that I deepen my understanding of some of these wrongs, and that I meet some of those whose lives and communities were so grievously affected. None of this can change the past but by addressing our history with honesty and openness, we can, perhaps, demonstrate the strength of our friendship today," he said, championing greater bonds between the two nations.

Charles will today visit the Kariakor war graves to honour Kenyans, and other Africans, who died in the two World Wars.

On his part, President William Ruto made a pitch for full reparations to victims of colonial brutality, highlighting the "monstrous cruelty" meted out to freedom fighters that was intensified during the emergency period.

"While there have been efforts to atone for the death, injury and suffering inflicted on Kenyan Africans by the colonial government, much remains to be done in order to achieve full reparations," said the President.

Ruto hailed Charles for his commitment to acknowledge the "painful aspects" of Kenya's and the UK's relationship. He called for a futuristic approach that would strengthen ties between the colony and her former master, stating that the two nations "cannot live as prisoners of the past".

"Your exemplary courage and readiness to shed light on uncomfortable truths that reside in the darker regions of our shared experience are also commendable. This is a highly encouraging first step, under your leadership, to deliver progress beyond (the) tentative and equivocal half measures of past years," he added.

Amid reports that the King was seeking a stronger commonwealth through his Kenya visit, Ruto would reveal his enthusiasm for the idea, touting it as one with the capacity of being "an exemplary community of nations distinguished by unity of purpose, inclusive progress and shared prosperity."

"Your visit therefore provides us with an opportunity to close ranks within the Commonwealth family in order to provide an inspiring beacon of hope in the possibility of transformative collective action on an ambitious, global scale," said Ruto.

Both Heads of State highlighted areas of partnership between their two nations, toasting to unity.