Princess Elizabeth in Kenya, 1952

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Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were in Kenya on this day in 1952, on the first stop of their 6-month Commonwealth Tour, which ended in just days after the King’s sudden death and her accession to the Throne. In Nairobi, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke were welcomed by Air Commodore L.T. Pankhurst, Air Officer Commanding of the East Africa Command.

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The following day, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh began their day with a service at Nairobi Cathedral, before a Garden Party at Government House in Nairobi, where they received many guests from Kenyan society.

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The following day, the Princess and the Duke waved to crowds from the balcony of City Hall in Nairobi, before the Duke participated in a polo match at Nyeri.

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The next day, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke arrived at Sagana Lodge in Nyeri County, which had been a wedding gift to them from the Kenyan Colony. After a safari, the evening was spent at Treetops Hotel, where a ‘Princess went up the tree and came down a Queen’, after the King’s sudden death during the night.

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke had completed their extensive Tour of Canada in the Autumn, following a busy Summer, with the Opening of the Festival of Britain, the Danish State Visit, the Norwegian State Visit, as the Princess and the Duke, who had given up his Naval Careerbecame full-time working Royals in the last few months of King George VI’s life, spending Christmas at Sandringham and then embarking on this major Commonwealth Tour on behalf of the King and Queen.

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