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“No Apology: King Charles Acknowledges Kenya’s Colonial-Era Suffering

King Charles recently paid a visit to Kenya, and it has been noted that he has officially acknowledged the Kenyan peoples’ suffering in the country’s colonial era. However, many were expecting an apology for historical injustices, but this didn’t come. It was the first visit to Kenya by a senior member of the British royal family for almost 50 years, since Prince Edward completed a tour in 1972. Charles spent time with Kenyan political leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, as well as visiting cultural sites of significance to the Kenyan people. During his visit, he declared: “It is hard to ignore the injustices of the past. I recognise, as you do, the suffering and despair of those who were broken by the colonial experience. We cannot ignore, or forget, the disadvantage and divisions in Kenyan society that are a legacy of that period.” Though this acknowledgement resonated with many, many Kenyans had expected a full apology for the injustices inflicted upon them in the colonial era. This did not come however, as Charles opted respectfully to avoid taking such a step, likely due to the UK still holding colonial-era views over many parts of the world. Though no apology was made, Charles showed his solidarity in declaring that: “I appreciate the importance of acknowledging the past – but even more, the importance of looking to the future.” Overall, his visit has been largely hailed as a success, with many Kenyans understanding his intention and the wider messages along with the visit as a whole. It is clear that the Kenyan and British governments agree on the need for cooperation to create a better future, yet the full healing of historical injustices will likely take more than a royal visit.