We’ve got a Kenyan journalist named Mwangi Maina, who decided to spill the tea about what went down behind-the-scenes during King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Kenyan escapade. Grab your popcorn and put on your monocle, ’cause it’s time for some royal revelations!
So, here’s the scoop, when the royals visit a country, it’s like organizing a really high-stakes party. The British government has to send out the invites, the host government needs to be cool with it, and the planning happens between the palace, Downing Street, the Foreign Office, the local government, and the British embassy in the host country. It’s basically a royal rave!
Now, Kenya being a democracy with a free press, various African journalists wanted in on the royal action. Maina dropped the bombshell that the African journalists were treated like they had just arrived from another planet, far, far away. Apparently, they were kept separate from their white British counterparts, and oh boy, the treatment was as different as night and day.
Maina, with a flair for drama, titled his tale “Segregated Press Buses, Stale Sandwiches & Used Toothpicks: Behind the Scenes of a Well-Choreographed but Tone-Deaf Royal Visit to Kenya.” Bravo, sir! Bravo!
Picture this: three separate buses, two for the fancy-pants British journalists and one for the Kenyan locals. The buses were even labeled “UK media” and “Local media.” Talk about an identity crisis! It seemed like they were segregating journalists based on nationality and color – not the best party theme, I must say.
Then, the plot thickened. Kenyan journalists claimed they were treated like peasants. They woke up bright and early for two days of royal coverage, but there was no breakfast, no water, and no lunch for them. Meanwhile, the Brits were feasting like kings and queens! Apparently, the Kenyan and UK state teams agreed to distribute food equally, but that plan was as solid as a soggy sandwich.
And then, the pièce de résistance – the Kenyan journalists who missed lunch were offered some “leftover” food boxes. Imagine their delight when they opened them to find stale sandwiches, cupcake wrappers without cupcakes, and used toothpicks. I mean, who doesn’t love a good toothpick for lunch?
But the royal circus had more acts. Just days before the grand visit, the @UKinKenya created a WhatsApp group for Kenyan-based media. However, they initially put a “No talking, only admin” rule in place. It was like trying to keep a bunch of rowdy kids quiet at a birthday party. Thankfully, the rule was later lifted, but the damage was done. Someone tried to gag them, and they weren’t having it.
As if that wasn’t enough drama for one royal tour, there was a scandal involving a senior Kenyan diplomat and a @UKinKenya diplomat over press photographers. Witnesses claimed there was a full-blown altercation because the UK diplomat believed their placement was obstructing coverage of the royal visit. It was like a scene from a reality TV show, with diplomats going at it like pro-wrestlers.
In the end, it seems like beneath the shiny veneer of a well-choreographed royal visit, there were some tensions and disagreements. But hey, who could have seen that coming, right?
Those who I have spoken to say they were mistreated and felt degraded in their own country. A sovereign country, so to say.
— Mwangi (@MwangiMaina_) November 4, 2023