On January 3, 1952, princess Elizabeth (now queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms) and her newlywed husband the Duke of Edinburgh, embarked on a five-day safari through the Aberdare Ranges in Kenya.
The couple would settle on Treetops Lodge in Nyeri, placing it on the map of Kenya’s most unique places to tour in the Country.
Just like the name suggests, the lodge has literally been built on top of trees and is located three-and-a-half kilometres off the Nyeri-Nyahururu highway.
The Treetops room the royal couple stayed in
(COURTESY) The lodge is built of wood and has undergone renovations over the years. The interior has been decorated with images of 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip during their trip.
At the time of the queen’s visit, the treehouse could only accommodate two people, a guest, and a guard. However, the rising demand for accommodation led the management to increase the number of rooms to 36.
There is one specific suite called the ‘Princess Suite’ which is usually available upon request. It is more costly compared to the other rooms and has features that are not in the other rooms.
During the queen and her husband’s visit, the queen’s father King George V, died in his sleep on February 5, 1952, which saw Elizabeth become a queen.
It has been recorded that Prince Philip was the first to get the news and at around 2:45 p.m. the same day, he informed his wife of the disheartening news after they had made their way to the renowned Sagana Lodge.
The Queen’s coronation was celebrated with a road race through the Kenyan Bush, known as the “Coronation Rally”. It would become an annual event which is now popularly known as the “Safari Rally”.
A famous hunter, Jim Corbett, was staying at Treetops at the time and wrote some famous lines on the vistors’ log book;
“For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a Queen.”
It has now been 69 years since Prince Elizabeth was made a queen during the trip to Kenya.
On Friday, April 9, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip died peacefully at the age of 99.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
Princess Elizabeth on her visit to Kenya in February 1952.