She climbed up a tree in Kenya while and Princess and climbed down a queen. Now that is what we call climbing.
It happened 7 decades ago. 70 years to be precise, that is in 1952 Kenya, then a British Colony.
Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were in Kenya in 1952.
It was their first stop in the six-month Commonwealth Tour.
The visit to East Africa would end a few days after the King’s sudden death.
The trip also saw Prince Elizabeth ascend to the throne while on a trip in Kenya.
The Treetops Lodge which hosted the couple became famous around the world.
Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, stayed there at the time of the death of her father, King George VI.
This occurred on the night of 5–6 February 1952. She learned of the king’s death, however, after having departed, while the couple were at Sagana Lodge.
She was the first British monarch since King George I to be outside the country at the moment of succession.
Again, for the first in modern times not to know the exact time of her accession because her father had died in his sleep at an unknown time as she was thousands of miles away.
On the night King George VI death, that is before the event was known, Sir Horace Hearne, then Chief Justice of Kenya, had escorted the Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, to a state dinner at the Treetops Hotel.
After word of George VI’s death reached the new Queen the following day, she returned immediately to Britain.
The famous hunter Jim Corbett, who was invited by the princess to accompany them during their stay there, wrote soemthing about it in the visitors’ 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!”Jim Corbett
Treetop became so famous such that it even got included in commodity items.
The then East African Industries (EAI), of Nairobi later started bottling orange fruit juice under the ‘Tree Top’ trademark.