Tuesday 24 October 2017

On bended knee. . . on top of world

Victoria Ward and Mike Pflanz

PRINCE William proposed to his girlfriend last month by a lake on the slopes of Mount Kenya, more than 12,500ft above sea level.

The peak is Africa's second-highest mountain and bears a striking resemblance to the Scottish Highlands, with lakes of rainbow trout, fish eagles, heather and temperatures often little above freezing.

Two of the lakes, Lake Alice and Lake Michaelson, are accessible only by helicopter. Prince William, an RAF pilot, is understood to have flown Kate Middleton to the lakeside in a borrowed helicopter to propose, with a backdrop of the Rift Valley spreading far to the north below.

Mount Kenya stands above Lewa Downs, the wildlife conservancy owned by the parents of Jecca Craig, the prince's friend. The couple spent 10 days at a lodge in the game reserve.

Silas Koikaren, a Masai warrior who worked with the prince in Kenya in 2007, said: "I send congratulations from all the Masai of Lewa."

Kenya is a country the prince holds dear and he has spoken fondly of the anonymity Africa affords him. He is patron of the Tusk Trust, an African conservation charity.

Royal history was also made there in 1952 as it was while staying in Kenya that his grandmother learned she had become queen on the death of her father.

The young Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip were staying in Nyeri when her father, King George VI, died during the night. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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