TREETOPS, WHERE THE PRINCESS TURNED QUEEN
On February 06th in 1952, outside Nyeri in the forest of the Aberdare Mountains, did a youthful Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philipp climb up the ladders into a treetop hideaway, to spend the night watching the game parade by the waterhole below. Little did she know, and not learn of it until the next afternoon, that during that night her father had passed away and the crown had passed to her, turning her from Princess to Queen.
First built in 1932, Treetops was always a special place, inside the forest and above a waterhole, allowing visitors to stay in one place and let the game parade by. It is understood from historical records, that when the Princess turned Queen stayed at Treetops, it was no longer the original version of it, and within two years of her visit was the tree house burnt down by the Mau Mau, before yet another version was re-built in 1956.
Relocated, refurbished and expanded several times, Treetops eventually had 50 rooms but is presently closed to allow a major modernization, while also reducing the number of rooms to 36 again.
The closure thwarted the Royal Watchers from celebrating this night at location, as inspite of through the roof demand the lodge remained closed, leaving dozens of wannabe visitors, hoping to catch a night at Treetops on the very anniversary, stranded and settling for either the base hotel Outspan or neighbouring treelodges.
Treetops, and Kenya however rose to fame and after the 1963 independence from Britain ties remained close and hundreds of thousands of Brits have since come to visit Kenya. Treetops, where the Princess went up and the Queen came down, but also the Outspan, where Lord Baden Powell, founder of the boy scouts, spent years, became a must visit place each in their own right, and when the new Treetops opens in April this year, one suite will proudly bear the name Queen Elizabeth Suite.
The Royal family of course has since then set new markers for the next generation of Royal Watchers, after Prince William proposed to his now wife in another lodge on the slopes of Mt. Kenya during a holiday they had in 2010 and though the couple then honeymooned in the Seychelles, Kenya will keep a share of the fame and use the good fortune of promoting the countrys safari treasures. Magical Kenya, where else does one constantly bump into Royal history and see and experience close up the hunting grounds of the Happy Valley crowd or reminisce over Out of Africa, follow the tracks of the Lunatic Express or walk in the footsteps of the great explorers or those of Hemingway, who was a regular visitor to Kenya in his days.