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Queen of Kenya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Queen of Kenya
StyleHer Majesty
Formation12 December 1963
Abolition12 December 1964

Elizabeth II was Queen of Kenya from 1963 to 1964, when Kenya was an independent sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy. She was also the sovereign of the other Commonwealth realms, including the United Kingdom. Her roles as the Kenyan head of state were delegated to the governor-general of Kenya.


The Kenya Independence Act 1963 transformed the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya into an independent sovereign state, with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and Queen of Kenya. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, represented the Queen of Kenya at the independence celebrations.[1] The Duke opened the first session of the Kenyan Parliament, on behalf of the Queen, and gave the speech from the throne on 13 December 1963.[2]

The Queen's constitutional roles were mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Kenya, her representative in Kenya, who was appointed by the Queen on the advice of her Kenyan Prime Minister.[3][4] Malcolm MacDonald was governor-general throughout. All bills required Royal assent.[5] All executive powers of Kenya were vested in the monarch, but were mostly exercised by the governor-general on her behalf.[6][7]

Kenya adopted a new constitution in 1964 which abolished the monarchy and the office of governor-general, and became a republic within the Commonwealth with the president of Kenya as head of state.[8]


Elizabeth was in Kenya at Treetops Hotel when her father, George VI, died on 6 February 1952 and she became queen. She had arrived in Nairobi on 1 February and had been staying at Sagana Lodge, near Mount Kenya. After the news of her accession, she returned immediately to the United Kingdom via Entebbe Airport.[9] The Mombasa tusks, which compose a monument on Moi Avenue in Mombasa, were initially built to commemorate the Queen's 1952 visit.[10]

After Kenya became a republic, the Queen stopped briefly in the country on 26 March 1972 and 7 October 1991.[11] She undertook a state visit to Kenya 10–14 November 1983, as the guest of President Daniel Arap Moi.[12]


Elizabeth II had the following styles in her role as the monarch of Kenya:

  • 21 April 1964 – 12 December 1964: Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Kenya and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth[14][15][16]


  1. ^ Julian Friedmann (1975), Jomo Kenyatta, Wayland, p. 83, ISBN 9780853403326
  2. ^ Commonwealth Survey: Volume 10, Central Office of Information, 1964, p. 75
  3. ^ Irving Kaplan (1976), Area Handbook for Kenya, Department of Defense, Department of the Army, p. 189
  4. ^ Kenya National Assembly Official Record (Hansard), Government of Kenya, 7 June 1963, p. 139
  5. ^ Robert L. Ware (1965), Basic Data on the Economy of Kenya, Department of Commerce, Bureau of International Commerce, p. 5
  6. ^ Christopher E. Bailey (2019), Counterterrorism Law and Practice in the East African Community, Brill, p. 83, ISBN 9789004389892
  7. ^ Kenya National Assembly Official Record (Hansard), 16 November 2000, p. 2757
  8. ^ Bridgette Kasuka (8 February 2012), Prominent African Leaders Since Independence, p. 59, ISBN 9781470043582
  9. ^ "Diary of events in the early life of The Queen". Official website of the British monarchy (Press release). Royal Household. 1 February 2002. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  10. ^ Ahmed, Mohamed (7 July 2019). "Symbolic tusks erected in 1952 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's visit". Daily Nation. Nation Media Group. Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Commonwealth visits since 1952". Official website of the British monarchy. Royal Household. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Outward State visits since 1952". Official website of the British monarchy. Royal Household. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  13. ^ "No. 39873". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 May 1953. p. 3023.
  14. ^ a b "Kenya: Heads of State: 1963-1964". archontology.org. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  15. ^ A proclamation affecting the change in royal style and titles is dated 10 Mar 1964 and took effect upon publication as Legal Notice No. 120 in Supplement No. 56 to Kenya Gazette, No. 18, 21 Apr 1964.
  16. ^ Kenya Gazette: Vol. 66, Nos. 1-2, 1964, p. 454