King Charles Expresses Regret for Colonial Abuses in Kenya

    King Charles Expresses Regret for Colonial Abuses in Kenya
    Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Britain's King Charles has expressed his "greatest sorrow and deepest regret" at what he called "abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence" against Kenyans during their struggle for independence and sovereignty.

    • Though he didn't deliver a formal apology, King Charles told a state banquet in Nairobi on Tuesday that there was "no excuse" for British wrongdoings in the East African country. In response, Kenya's Pres. William Ruto commended the King for addressing the "uncomfortable truths."

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    King Charles has only reasserted what was admitted a little over a decade ago — that the British colonial administration had committed torture and abuses against the Kenyan people. If the King truly wanted to break with the notion of imperial exceptionalism, he should have apologized and offered reparations for Britain's colonial atrocities. There was no better, more symbolic place for his first formal apology than Kenya.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Given the controversial nature of the subject of his speech, King Charles would draw criticism either for going too far or not far enough in acknowledging British culpability for abuses in Kenya. Overall, however, his language was balanced and well-judged. Ignoring these issues would be short-sighted, but a full formal apology could trigger a domino effect in nations previously under British rule.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 11% chance that King Charles III will abdicate the throne of the UK before Sept. 9, 2032, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Public figures in this story

    Establishment split



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