King Charles is planning to embark on an emotional visit to Kenya later this year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In an apparent drive to put the Commonwealth at the heart of his reign, he is expected to go to east Africa before he even rearranges a visit to France that was abandoned in March over security fears.
The trip is certain to evoke memories of his mother, as it was where she became Queen, aged 25, after the death of her father, King George VI, in February 1952.
An insider said: ‘It will be a poignant moment. Inevitably it will be a reminder of his young mother at the start of her reign. Now, he is at the start of his, but he has the advantage of experience, too.
‘It will also be an important marker for his reign that will underline how importantly he views the Commonwealth.
‘His Majesty wants to bring people together. He knows the relationship will change between the Royal Family and the realms and other Commonwealth countries, but is keen to preserve and protect the common values.’
The first official visit of his reign was abandoned by the French government amid widespread rioting in response to Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise the pension age.
In the end, the King and Queen Camilla were only able to complete the second leg of their itinerary, which was a trip to Germany.
Aides are now looking into the logistics for the King to follow in his late mother’s footsteps.
A source said: ‘The plans are being put in place for the King to go to Kenya later this year. He wants to visit the Commonwealth.’
The east African nation holds a unique place in Royal history as the then Princess Elizabeth was on an official visit there with Prince Philip when she heard that her father had died in the early hours of February 6, 1952, and she had ascended the throne.
The Royal couple had landed in Nairobi less than a week before to start a world tour on behalf of the ailing King. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Sagana Lodge, a bungalow given as a wedding present by Kenya’s government.
They then went on to the Treetops hotel in Aberdare National Park. The late monarch entered a treehouse among the branches of a giant mgumu fig tree as a Princess and came down a Queen.
The hotel was later destroyed by the Mau Mau and rebuilt. The area holds memories for the King, who has visited Kenya four times.
Nearby is the Prince Charles Campsite, a forest clearing where Charles grew his first beard while on safari during a visit with his sister, Princess Anne. Other trips followed in 1977, 1978 and 1987.
Excerpts from Daily mirror