How Charles's Kenya visit comes 40 years after Queen Elizabeth II's
When the Queen returned to Kenya: King’s visit comes 40 years after Elizabeth II was warmly welcomed… and went back to the ‘Treetops’ hotel where she became monarch in 1952 after the death of her father George VI
- The Queen and Prince Philip visited Kenya for five days in November 1983
Standing close to where more than 30 years previously she had become Queen, Elizabeth II wondered where all the trees had gone.
It was November 1983, and Her Late Majesty had returned to Kenya’s Treetops Hotel, where she had been in 1952 when her father King George VI passed away.
This time, she and Prince Philip walked across a wide open space and were shocked by how much it had changed.
Philip asked, ‘where have all the trees gone?’ and was told by the lodge’s owner that elephants had pulled them up.
The original main hotel building itself had been burned down by Mau Mau fighters rebelling against British rule in 1954.
The stop at the re-built retreat came towards the end of the royal couple’s five-day visit to the country – their first since they rushed home to destiny 31 years earlier.
King Charles is two days into his own four-day visit to the country as he echoes his mother and father alongside Queen Camilla.
His visit has been partially overshadowed by protests and calls for an official apology for Britain’s alleged Brutal repression of the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.
Standing close to where more than 30 years previously she had become Queen, Elizabeth II wondered where all the trees had gone. It was November 1983, and Her Late Majesty had returned to Kenya’s Treetops Hotel, where she had been in 1952 when her father King George VI passed away. Above: The Queen and Prince Philip are shown around the hotel area
READ MORE: Moment King Charles nearly takes a tumble as he trips on artificial grass (before smoothly putting on his sunglasses as he keeps calm and carries on) during visit to Kenya with Queen Camilla
The Queen had been warmly welcomed when she arrived in Nairobi with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Wearing a bright yellow dress, she departed the airport with Philip in the open-top car of the then Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi.
Cheering them on were crowds of thousands of Kenyans. The Daily Mail told at the time how: ‘No problems or old differences were talked of… as the Queen spread magic through the packed city.’
At a state banquet on the day of her arrival, the Queen – then dressed in jade green – told massed dignitaries: ‘I still remember with gratitude the sympathy, support and encouragement which the people of Kenya gave me in 1952 as I embarked so suddenly upon my new responsibilities.’
Back in 1952, Treetops was only a little clearing in a forest with a pool. Amongst them were both elephants and rhinos.
But it had changed so much when she returned with Philip that the Queen wondered if they had been brought to the right place.
On her last visit to Treetops, the Queen was still Princess Elizabeth. She is seen above in February 1952 with Prince Philip in the grounds of the Sagana Lodge, close to Treetops
The Queen inspects a guard of honour following her arrival in Nairobi in November 1983
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are shown around the ‘Treetops’ hotel by hunter Richard Prickett
The pair were surprised at how much the place had changed in the 31 years since they had last been
The Mail reported how she told Philip: ‘It’s not like it was at all is it darling?’
However, the pair did spot antelope, buffalo and baboons. They were accompanied by an armed hunter for protection, although his gun had ‘only’ six bullets in it.
Before visiting the hotel, which was part of the Sangana estate, the Queen and Prince Philip had been welcomed by thousands of factory workers and farmers in the industrial town of Thika.
According to reports at the time, some of the 25,000-strong crowd had walked as far as 25 miles from surrounding villages and stood for four hours in intense heat to catch a glimpse of the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II with Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi watching traditional dancers who entertained her on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta Airport
Armistice Day was marked during the trip. Prince Philip is seen making a salute alongside Kenyan officers
Queen Elizabeth II is seen with the Kenyan president as she is greeted by crowds in Nairobi
The Queen laughs during a chat with the Kenyan president and Prince Philip ahead of a state banquet to mark her visit
The Queen is seen arriving at Heathrow after returning from Kenya following the death of her father. She was met by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, along with Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Labour leader Clement Atlee
A delighted station master who had his hand shaken by the monarch told journalists: ‘I shall try my best not to wash it. Meeting her is the greatest honour in my life time.’
Prince Philip discovered that King George had died before the Queen did, after he was told by an aide.
He then had to break the news to his wife, who had become Queen without knowing it.
The pair – who were then at the nearby Sagana Lodge – quickly returned to the UK and were met at Heathrow by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, along with Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Labour leader Clement Atlee.
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