When Elizabeth Became Queen in Kenya

After bidding farewell to Elizabeth and Philip at London Airport on 31 January, the king, queen and Princess Margaret returned to Sandringham. Along with a team of nannies, they were to care for Charles and Anne, while the children's parents were on tour. Five days later, on 5 February, George enjoyed a brisk afternoon of shooting before the family took dinner together and retired to bed.


That same afternoon, 4,000 miles away in Kenya, Elizabeth and Philip had arrived at Treetops Hotel, built into the branches of a giant mgumu tree. Once night fell they occupied themselves watching elephants and rhinoceros gather at a watering hole beneath the viewing platform. The royal party turned in late with plans to rise at dawn to resume their watch over the wildlife. During those few restful hours, early on the morning of 6 February 1952, King George VI died peacefully in his sleep.

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