King Charles’ Non-Apology to Kenyans

King Charles

(Non)Apology Cannot Mean Repair

Amidst global demands for reparations, King Charles offers Kenyans a (non)apology. But what substance can an apology from Britain hold, when its imperial and colonial crimes continue to shape and undo life in Kenya?

In late October 2023, King Charles III made his first state visit to Kenya since his coronation as monarch of the United Kingdom. His invitation to Kenya by President William Sameoi Ruto on a year that marks 60 years since Kenya’s independence from British colonial rule was already a symbolic contradiction. But as demonstrated through his British High Commission-curated itinerary, which included visits to social, environmental and business initiatives including the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Book Bunk, Karura Forest and participants in the Prince’s Trust International—some of which are funded by British aid—the narrative this trip was structured to communicate was one that situated acknowledgement of harm and charity as modes of reparation. 

This essay features in our print issue, ‘An African Feminist Manifesto’ and is only available online to paying subscribers. To continue reading register for a free trial and get unlimited access to The Republic for a week!Already a subscriber? Log in.