The end of the Kenyattas leadership in Kenya; the death of the queen of United Kingdom.
Big reset, a new age.
Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom ascended the throne while on a tour in Kenya.
Uhuru Kenyatta, the last of the formidable Kenyattas in recent times is being replaced as Kenya’s president, on Tuesday the 13th of September 2022.
Queen Elizabeth, the royal family the Kenyattas enjoy close ties with died Thursday, 8th September 2022.
The end of an era.
Adapted from various sources
Treetops hotel in the heart of the Kenya forest is renowned as the place where Princess Elizabeth first heard the news that her father had died and that she was to be Queen. This, however, is not quite the full story.
While the princess was certainly at Treetops on the night her father, George VI, died 70 years ago on 6 February, 1952, she was not told until the following afternoon, by which time she had returned to a fishing lodge called Sagana, 20 miles away, that she had been given as a wedding present. It was there, beside a trout stream in the foothills of Mount Kenya, that Prince Philip broke the news.
The princess and her husband had flown from Heathrow to Kenya on 31 January. They were seen off by the king, too ill with lung cancer to make the tour himself. The crowd gave him a sympathetic cheer as he stood in the bitter cold to wave goodbye to his daughter.
Three days after they arrived, the royal couple travelled up-country to Sagana and from there they drove after lunch on 5 February to Treetops, the game-viewing lodge built in a tree overlooking an elephant waterhole. They planned to spend the night watching wildlife, enjoying a respite from their duties before continuing the rest of their tour.
Treetops is old hat now, but in 1952 it was the only place of its kind in the world. It was the brainchild of Eric Walker, owner of the Outspan hotel in Nyeri, and his wife, Lady Bettie, daughter of the Earl of Denbigh. The two of them were hosts for the visit, along with the naturalist Jim Corbett, after whom the Corbett National Park in India is named. Retired from India, Corbett lived in a cottage at the Outspan previously occupied by Lord Baden-Powell.
In England, meanwhile, “Hyde Park Corner” was under way, the coded plan for arrangements surrounding the death of the king. At No 10, Winston Churchill was informed at once that the king had died in his sleep at Sandringham, but it was four hours before word reached the princess. A telegram to Government House in Nairobi could not be decoded because the keys to the safe holding the codebook were unavailable.
At lunchtime the editor of the East African Standard telephoned the princess’s secretary, Martin Charteris, at the Outspan to ask if the teleprinter reports were true. Shocked, Charteris contacted Sagana, where Prince Philip reacted as if he had been hit by a thunderbolt.
Rallying swiftly, he took his 25-year-old wife for a walk in the garden where, at 2.45pm on 6 February, he told her that her father was dead and she was now Queen and head of the Commonwealth.
She reacted with the same sense of duty that she has shown ever since, immediately discussing the practicalities of getting back to England and writing letters of apology for the cancellation of the tour. Charteris thought her “very composed, master of her fate”, as she left Sagana towards dusk that evening.
Kenya’s oldest safari lodge Treetops where Princess Elizabeth became Queen has been forced to close due to the pandemic – after being recreated for The Crown
She was driven to a nearby airstrip, where a Dakota waited to fly her home. The Queen was unmistakably under strain as she emerged from the car, but she managed a subdued smile for the crowd. She boarded the plane with none of the usual pomp and took off at once.
The mask slipped once they were airborne. The Queen left her seat after a while. Her face was set when she returned, but it was obvious to the other passengers that she had been in the loo, having a good long cry.
Nicholas Best is working on the biography of Eric Sherbrooke Walker, the founder of Treetops