King Charles has paid tribute to his “beloved” daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, during a state banquet in Kenya.
The British monarch was speaking in front of 350 guests at the official event, which was hosted by Kenyan President William Ruto and first lady Rachel Ruto at the state house in Nairobi in his and Queen Camilla’s honour.
The royal couple are currently on a four-day tour of Kenya.
During the King’s keynote speech at the eight-course banquet on Tuesday night, he pointed out the personal significance of their location.
“It was here, in sight of Mount Kenya, that my son, The Prince of Wales, proposed to his wife, now my beloved daughter-in-law,” he told the 350 guests.
Prince William and the then-future Princess of Wales became engaged in 2010 after he popped the question in a log cabin at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
They tied the knot in a lavish, globally-watched royal wedding at Westminster Abbey a year later – and Kate has reportedly been close with her father-in-law ever since.
During Charles’ speech in Kenya, he also addressed Britain’s colonial history, describing his nation’s “abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence” which occurred during his mother’s reign as his “greatest sorrow and deepest regret”.
“The wrongdoings of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret. There were abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans as they waged, as you said at the United Nations, a painful struggle for independence and sovereignty – and for that, there can be no excuse,” the King said.
“In coming back to Kenya, it matters greatly to me that I should deepen my own understanding of these wrongs, and that I meet some of those whose lives and communities were so grievously affected.
“None of this can change the past. But by addressing our history with honesty and openness we can, perhaps, demonstrate the strength of our friendship today. And, in so doing, we can, I hope, continue to build an ever-closer bond for the years ahead.”
During their tour, Charles and Camilla have been educated on some of the more harrowing aspects of the Kenya-UK relationship – most notably, the events of the violence during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.
In a press statement released on the Royal Family website ahead of their departure, it explained that the visit would include time for the King to “deepened his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya”.
The statement also outlined that the tour will “celebrate the warm relationship between the two countries and the strong and dynamic partnership they continue to forge”.