The ‘great shame’ King Charles felt ahead of poignant international visit

King Charles expressed his sadness that a building important to his late mother no longer stands

King Charles expressed the great shame at the loss of something dear to his late mother
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A young Princess Elizabeth’s life changed forever when she was on a trip to Kenya. In fact, the urban legend has it the young woman, then just 25, climbed up to a treetop lodge as a Princess and came down a Queen, after her father’s untimely death aged 56 in February 1952. As it turns out though, the now King Charles will not be able to visit this important monument in his late mother’s life during his own trip to Kenya.

King Charles’ upcoming visit to Kenya will be significant for many reasons.

Not only is it his first visit to a Commonwealth country as sovereign, Kenya holds an important part in the history of his family.

Located in the Aberdare National Park, the Treetops Lodge Nyeri tree-house lodge on stilts is famous as the place where Queen Elizabeth II visited as a princess and left as queen, following the news of her father’s premature death aged just 56 in 1952.

A young Princess Elizabeth became queen while on her trip to Kenya

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, the lodge was burnt down by Mau Mau rebels in May 1954 because of its history as a lookout by British soldiers. It was eventually replaced by a larger hotel, which the late Queen and Prince Philip stayed at during a state visit in 1983.

However, the hotel sadly failed to reopen after closing during the Covid pandemic and will not feature on King Charles and Queen Camilla’s four-day state visit to the country.

While welcoming representatives from Kenya to Buckingham Palace this week, Chares and Camilla were seen looking at, looking at pictures of the original three-room lodge.

In scenes described by the Express, Camilla was reported to have asked, “Is it no longer with us? Oh dear, it’s collapsed.”

The King and Queen welcomed representatives from Kenya to Buckingham Palace ahead of their international visit

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The King replied, wistfully, “It’s a great shame.”

Camilla, who looked trendy in a levelled up leopard print dress by Fiona Clare replied, “Yes, it is. It’s really sad. One of the iconic places. It’s sad it’s gone.”

While on their visit, Kenyan High Commissioner Manoah Esipisu said, “Friendships are about ensuring at the highest level we can see exchanges in everything from education to culture, trade and the military.”

“His Majesty’s decision to visit us as his first Commonwealth country is a really commendable thing.”

The King and Queen’s state visit to Kenya, which will last from October 31 to November 3. It comes as Kenya prepares to celebrate 60 years of independence on December 12.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.