She walked in as Princess, out as Queen – Nyeri hotel where Queen Elizabeth II received news of her father’s demise

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 9 Sep, 2022 21:41 | 3 mins read
Treetops Hotel PHOTO/Loise Wambungu

When the history of Queen Elizabeth is written, several sites in Nyeri county will have a special place in her history.

Among them are Treetops hotel and ACK St Phillips church in Narumoro where the then Princess Elizabeth attended a service before ascending to queenship following the death of her father King George VI.

Queen Elizabeth was on a tour of the country when her father died in 1952 thus rising to the throne.

Treetops hotel has a special room where she slept as a princess and woke up as a queen. Many have been flocking and paying to spend a night there.

The Queen also spent another night there when she visited again in 1983.

The management says they are at a loss as the Queen made the hotel that is inside the Aberdares Forest famous and they have since lit candles in her memory.

"We are at a loss because the Queen made this lodge famous as she climbed as a princess and left as a queen following the death of her father. She also visited later in 1983 during former President Daniel Moi's reign and spent the night here. Her room is still intact and we would always show our customers every time they visited," Amos Ndegwa, a hunter at the lodge, said.

Edwin Kariuki, a former Corporate Sales Manager for Aberdare Safari Hotels says; "Princess Elizabeth Suite was my best selling room from major markets like the UK, US, Canada and new emerging markets like China and India owing to the connection with Queen Elizabeth II.

"Guests would prefer to stay in the spacious superior double room fitted with modern equipment for a great bush experience. This adventure is close to a century of the rich heritage that dates back to 1932.

"Strategically located on the migratory path of elephants between the Aberdares and Mt.Kenya overlooking a watering hole and salt lick make the lodge an incredible game viewing spot.

"An ancient tree that grows right through the lodge depicts a philosophy of protecting nature while enjoying its beauty in the wilderness."

The ACK St Phillips Church in Narumoro still remains open and it is regarded as a treasure by British citizens who live in Laikipia and Nyeri counties.

To ensure the legacy of the little-known church in Narumoro is preserved, its management has said it is going to organize a special prayer session to honour the departed British monarch who died at the age of 96.

The Church's vice chairman Stephen Gaturu said the prayer service will be held as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II who worshipped at the facility prior to becoming the queen and later when she visited the country in 1983.

"As a church, we must honour her with a service. Each year, we have been holding a function to remember her birthday and since we have many Britons living among us, we must give thanks to the Almighty for giving her good health all those years," Gaturu said.

According to Gaturu, the church compound was gazetted as a national museum as a result of the queen's visit.

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