What you need to know:
- Throughout his speech, King Charles heaped praise on founding President Jomo Kenyatta, even recalling their first meeting 52 years ago.
- He described the relationship between the two countries as a "modern partnership of equals", unlike some 60 years ago.
King Charles III has regretted atrocities committed by his soldiers but stopped short of a public apology even as President William Ruto called for full reparations in his presence for injuries and deaths in colonial Kenya.
"The wrongs of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret. There were heinous and unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans as they fought, as you said at the United Nations, a painful struggle for independence and sovereignty - and there can be no excuse for that," he said at the State House banquet hosted by President William Ruto on Tuesday night.
Equally, the President was quick to call for the need to “learn lessons from history to foster relations between the two nations.” Perhaps to drown the centre of the attention and avoid putting his guest in an awkward position.
King Charles went on to say that "in returning to Kenya, it is important to me to deepen my own understanding of these wrongs and to meet some of those whose lives and communities have been so badly affected."
He said there was nothing he could do to change the past.
"But by addressing our history with honesty and openness, perhaps we can demonstrate the strength of our friendship today. And in doing so we can, I hope, forge an ever closer bond in the years to come."
Throughout his speech, King Charles heaped praise on founding President Jomo Kenyatta, even recalling their first meeting 52 years ago.
As Jomo Kenyatta said, "Our children can learn from the heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future."
He described the relationship between the two countries as a "modern partnership of equals", unlike some 60 years ago.
He also underlined the need for the two countries to work together in a number of areas, including security and the fight against climate change.
"And it is, if I may say so, absolutely essential that your voice and Africa's voice continue to be heard, including at COP twenty-eight and beyond," he said.
Apart from the President, key dignitaries at the event included Queen Camilla, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, British High Commissioner to Kenya Neil Wigan and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was not present. He is said to have been out of the country.
The royal couple is on a four-day visit of Kenya. They arrived on Monday, just over a month ahead of the country's 60th Independence Anniversary celebrations scheduled for December 12, 2023.
The President touched on the emotive issue of Britain's brutal colonisation of Kenya, which led to the injury and death of thousands of Africans, especially after the declaration of a state of emergency in 1952.
He said that while Kenya and the UK are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations, "this in no way means that our peoples were total strangers before that."
"Nor does it mean that we live in denial of history. We cannot live as prisoners of the past. Nor can we move far into the future by turning our backs on historical acts and omissions whose legacies burden our present," the President said.
"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 to achieve full reparations," said Dr Ruto.
Kenya is the first former colony and the first Commonwealth country to be visited by King Charles since he ascended the throne last year. The royal visit is expected to further strengthen Kenya's economic ties with the UK.
The President invited King Charles and Queen Camilla to enjoy Kenya's hospitality and "the spirit of enterprise and innovation of the Kenyan people, as well as the country's scenic beauty and tourist charm, our country will live up to its reputation as Magical Kenya and exceed your expectations."
The King also pledged to continue to support Commonwealth initiatives around the world.
In his address, he said it felt special to return to what he described as "this extraordinary country in the sixtieth year of your independence."
Like the Mugumo Tree, which marks the spot where the flag of the Republic was first raised at independence, the Monarch said the country was not only strong and deeply rooted, but also thriving.
He said the visit was an opportunity to renew ties between Kenya and the United Kingdom.
He also took the opportunity to remind the guest that his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, arrived here as a princess in nineteen fifty-two but left as a queen.
"It is very moving to read her diary from that visit where she wrote that she did not want to miss a moment of Kenya's extraordinary landscapes.
The history between the royal family and Kenya runs deep. The heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales, proposed to his wife in Kenya.
He first visited Kenya in 1971. Before travelling to Nairobi, the Sovereign met with Kenyans living and working in the UK.