King Charles didnt apologize in Kenya, instead used a historical passive voice

Here are more photos of King Charles and Queen Camilla on Day 1 of their four-day visit to Kenya. There was a state dinner in Nairobi on Tuesday, but Camilla skipped the tiara and gaudy jewelry this time. She did that on purpose – she didn’t want to wear any diamonds looted from the continent of Africa while she was actually IN Kenya. She also didn’t wear a formal dress, opting instead for a clownish two-piece look by Anna Valentine – palazzo pants and an Indian-style kurta/tunic. Per People Magazine, “By leaving her tiara at home, the Queen eliminated potential outcry around accessorizing with a visual symbol of the monarchy in a country formerly under British rule and scarred by The Emergency or the Mau Mau rebellion, which was met with a violent and brutal British-led crackdown in the 1950s.” As if “not wearing a tiara” would make people forget about the decades of systematic oppression and the looting of their national resources and treasure. Speaking of, at the state dinner, King Charles refused to apologize in his speech:

“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,” the monarch said.

“The wrongdoings of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret,” he continued. “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,” he said. “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. And, in so doing, we can, I hope, continue to build an ever-closer bond for the years ahead.”

“It means a great deal to my wife and myself that, in our coronation year, our first state visit to a Commonwealth country should bring us here to Kenya,” he said. “We both take considerable pride in renewing the ties between the United Kingdom and Kenya, a country that has long held such special meaning for my family.” He then said in Swahili, “Today, I don’t feel like a visitor.”

“It is well known, I think, that my dear mother, The late Queen, had a particular affection for Kenya and the Kenyan people. She arrived here in 1952 a princess but left as Queen,” the King continued, speaking about how Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne during a tour there when her father, King George VI, died unexpectedly. “It is extremely moving to read her diary from that visit, in which she wrote that she did not want to miss a moment of Kenya’s extraordinary landscapes. I really cannot thank you enough for the support Kenya gave her through that difficult time.”

King Charles also recalled how his father, Prince Philip, attended the celebrations of Kenya’s independence in 1963 as well as when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in Kenya in 2010. “It was here, in sight of Mount Kenya, that my son, the Prince of Wales, proposed to his wife, now my beloved daughter-in-law,” he said.

[From People]

I wonder if any Kenyan will ask him about what he did to his other daughter-in-law, the Black one he put in mortal danger as a way to bring her “to heel.” Which speaks to the colonialist attitudes of Charles in particular and the institution generally, which is why the careful wording of his statement falls flat. As always, beware of the historical passive voice- instead of “mistakes were made,” Kenya gets “There were abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans.” Who can even say by whom, amirite?? Also: does anyone buy that William actually proposed to Kate in Kenya at this point?

The King speaks at a State Banquet on Day 1 of #RoyalVisitKenya.

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 31, 2023

PS… Charles’s hands look extremely painful at this point.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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