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Kenya VS The British Monarchy

by Olesia December 4 2012, 13:25 Kenya

I've been writing in my blog about travelling, interesting places to visit or interesting developments in my life. But actually I didn'y mind it to be only about me and my life.

Since I've come to Kenya my dearest friends and relatives asked me also about the country in general, about living conditions, spoken language, problems if there are any...

So this post will be dedicated to Kenya and its links to the British Monarchy.

The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorte in 1895, known from 1920 as the The Kenya Colony. The independent Republic of Kenya was founded in December 1963. Since then Kenya is considered to be one of 54 independent member states of Commonwealth of Nations.

Commonwealth countries are not considered to be "foreign" to one another. Reflecting this, diplomatic missions between Commonwealth countries are designated as high commisions rather than embassies. Thus, there is no British Embassy in Kenya but High Comission.

For over 55 years, The Queen has been Head of the Commonwealth.

The Queen keeps in touch with Commonwealth developments through regular contact with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and his Secretariat. This is the Commonwealth's central organisation.

Based in London, it co-ordinates many Commonwealth activities. Her Majesty also has regular meetings with Heads of Government from Commonwealth countries.

Kenya VS The British Monarchy
Kenya VS The British Monarchy
Kenya VS The British Monarchy

Kenya has its part in the history of the British monarchy.

But here I won't stress you with boring numbers, dates and names. I would rather talk about one intresting episode that took place in Kenya and how Princes Elizabeth became Queen.

During her reign, The Queen has visited every country in the Commonwealth and made many repeat visits. One third of The Queen's total overseas visits are to Commonwealth countries.

But her visit to Kenya in 1952 was different. The trip would prove to mark a pivotal event in the Queen’s life, as five days after her arrival in Kenya the Princess received news of her father’s death and learnt of her ascension to the throne.

With her father’s failing health, Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, represented the King on an official tour of Australia and Kenya in 1952. Her visit was of great importance to the Kenyan colonial administration of the time.

Royal wave: Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Kenya, 1952
Royal wave: Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Kenya, 1952
Royal wave: Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Kenya, 1952
Royal wave: Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Kenya, 1952

Royal wave: Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Kenya, 1952

Throughout the 20th century, Kenya had always drawn a wide range of visitors to its shores, including many dignitaries and world leaders. Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, The Duke of Gloucester and many others took well-documented Kenyan safaris. Kenya has always been considered the first and greatest "safari" destination.

So it was the natural choice for the young Royal couple, as they set off from London on January 31st, bidding farewell to King George Vth.

The Royal party visited Nairobi before setting out on a 5 day safari through the wilderness. On February 5th, they reached the Aberdare Ranges. Travelling into the hills, they explored the beautiful highland moors and forests, crossing fresh mountain streams alive with trout and passing through the colonial town of Nyeri. As the sun set, they settled into the world famous Treetops lodge for the night.

As the name suggests, Treetops is set high in the forest, overlooking a quiet waterhole and natural saltlick. The entrance to the lodge is through a central staircase ascending from the forest floor.

As night settled, game from the surrounding ranges gathered beneath the lodge. The Royal couple spent the night watching the endless procession of elephants, buffalo, rhino and other game that visited the waterhole.

 The Outspan Hotel's annexe known locally by the name of "Treetop Hotel" The Outspan Hotel's annexe known locally by the name of "Treetop Hotel"
 The Outspan Hotel's annexe known locally by the name of "Treetop Hotel"

The Outspan Hotel's annexe known locally by the name of "Treetop Hotel"

On February 6th, the 25 year old Princess woke early in true safari tradition. She and Michael Parker, her husband's private secretary climbed high onto a lookout tower to watch the sunrise.

At this moment, thousands of miles away in London, the King died in his sleep, and the title of monarch passed to his daughter in Kenya.

When the telegram arrived, the Princess was still at Treetops, and she descended to the forest floor as the new Queen of England.

This momentous day granted Kenya an important role in the history of the British Royal Family. The Queen's coronation was celebrated with a road race through the Kenyan Bush, known as the "Coronation Rally". The race became an annual event, popularly known as the "Safari Rally".

 Her Majesty with President Jomo Kenyatta and his wife in 1971 in Nairobi, Kenya

Her Majesty with President Jomo Kenyatta and his wife in 1971 in Nairobi, Kenya

The Queen met by sounds from Kenyan tribal musicians, including representatives from the Samburu,Turkana, Njemp, Kikuyu, Borana and Maasai tribes in Windsor Castle on May 15th, 2012

The Queen met by sounds from Kenyan tribal musicians, including representatives from the Samburu,Turkana, Njemp, Kikuyu, Borana and Maasai tribes in Windsor Castle on May 15th, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II meets dancers from Kenya backstage, after the Diamond Jubilee Concert performed on a specially erected stage outside Buckingham Palace on June 5th, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II meets dancers from Kenya backstage, after the Diamond Jubilee Concert performed on a specially erected stage outside Buckingham Palace on June 5th, 2012

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