Prince William ends tour with visit to barracks
Royalty > Prince is also soldier and colonel of the BATUK regiment, with a decade-long military career Security tight at BATUK camp in Laikipia ahead of Prince’s visit
Prince William ended his trip to Africa with a visit to British soldiers and schoolchildren in Laikipia County. The Duke of Cambridge landed at the Ol Swara British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) Camp at around 12:50pm, where he was received by British High Commissioner Nic Hailey.
He landed in a private chopper contracted from Air Tropic and donned military uniform, making it difficult to tell him apart from the rest of the soldiers. His lowkey arrival was characterised by a small security comprising three guards who kept their distance, but kept a close watch throughout. As he toured around the camp, Prince William was mostly accompanied by army commanders or British High Commission officials.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi led the local delegation that met the prince.
Notably, only leaders who were invited were allowed into the camp, and most had to leave behind their personal security. In fact, Governor Muriithi arrived in a single vehicle, with only his driver and one bodyguard. Security at the camp was tight, with ground and aerial surveillance.
Upon arrival, the prince first met political leaders from Laikipia and Samburu, who got a few minutes to interact with him. He spoke to the leaders separately, giving each an opportunity to highlight key issues in their areas of representation.
The leaders highlighted key issues such as food security, education and general security, with the prince saying he would help intervene where possible. He also met British ranchers who own land in Laikipia county, also discussing key issues with them individually.
Among the issues raised by the ranchers, the prince paid keen attention to wildlife conservation efforts and relations with the local communities.
This, according to officials, was a centre of focus in line with his trip to Africa. The British royal’s trip to Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya was largely focused on conservation ahead of the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London happening in ten days’ time.
Governor Muriithi lauded the prince’s engagement in tourism, saying it would go a long way in boosting wildlife conservation.
“The Prince is a crusader of conservation and his tour is largely focused on that. Laikipia is a county that is home to wildlife, and this is key to us,” the governor said.
At the same time, the prince interacted with British soldiers, getting up close and personal with each of them. For most soldiers, it was an exciting moment to meet with a member of the Royal family. In his engagement with the troops, he kept a modest posture cracking a few jokes with the soldiers as if he was one of them.
He then proceeded to watch 1st Battalion Irish Guards Battle Group, training under BATUK, in his role as Colonel of the Regiment.
The Prince is a crusader of conservation and his tour is largely focused on that. Laikipia is a county that is a home to wildlife, and this visit is key to us.” Governor Ndiritu Muriithi
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William (centre) talks with Irish soldiers during his visit to the 1st Battalion, the Irish Guards Battle Group, training under the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK), in his role as colonel of the regiment in Laikipia yesterday, as he ended his tour of Africa.