- The King’s trip to Kenya had threatened to be eclipsed by row over Britain’s past
- But young Kenyans lined streets to catch a glimpse of him and Queen Camilla
- One fan described King Charles as a ‘good man’ and ‘champion of the planet’
His state visit to Kenya – his first to a Commonwealth nation since the Coronation – had faced being eclipsed by a row over Britain’s colonial past.
But King Charles has proved a hit with young Kenyans – many of whom lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the monarch and Queen Camilla during last week’s tour.
Many have praised the 74-year-old for being ‘chilled’ and ‘approachable’ and described him as a ‘good man’ and ‘champion of the planet’.
One teenager, 17-year-old Girl Guide Joanne Mirraho, even told Charles she loved him.
Speaking after a beach clean-up on Thursday, she said: ‘It’s genuinely how I feel. He is a champion of the planet, a good man and someone that we can look up to.’
Hit with the kids: King Charles, pictured on a school visit in Nairobi, has received praise from young people in Kenya during his first trip to a Commonwealth nation since the Coronation
Allan Ramogo, 38, a caterer at Eastlands library in downtown Nairobi, said of the crowds greeting Charles: ‘Everyone here was born in about 2000. For them, the empire is ancient history.
‘It’s the older generation, like my grandparents, who are unhappy with the visit and associate the British with colonialism. Young people are just excited.’
Rhoda Asiyo, 26, a sous-chef at Nairobi Street Kitchen, who served Charles a butter chicken samosa from his food truck, said: ‘The King was great, very chilled out.’
In Mombasa, Veronica Michael, 23, added: ‘King Charles is really cool. He was not formal but friendly.’
The King and Queen have had to tread delicately since landing in Kenya on Monday.
Ahead of the visit, the Kenya Human Rights Commission highlighted atrocities committed against ‘Kenya’s freedom fighters’ during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s and many older Kenyans have also demanded reparations from Britain for the atrocities.
In a speech last week, Charles told of his ‘greatest sorrow and deepest regret’ over Britain’s ‘abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence’ during the colonial era.
King Charles III with Scouts and Girl Guides during a visit to Early Birds Banda, a community organisation that promotes marine conservation on Nyali Beach, Mombasa County
Rhoda Asiyo, 26, a sous-chef at Nairobi Street Kitchen, who served Charles a butter chicken samosa from his food truck, said: ‘The King was great, very chilled out’
Earlier in the week, King Charles III started a children’s race during a visit to Karura urban forest to highlight the role of green spaces and forests in sustainable cities