Kenya: A special memorial service was held in Nyeri where Queen Elizabeth II worshiped

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By Ere-ebi Agedah

Hundreds of British-born Kenyan citizens living in Nyeri gathered in a small church for a memorial service in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday at the church where the late Queen worshiped as a princess before stepping onto the throne.

Like many other former British colonies, Kenya has a complicated relationship with the monarchy.

George Omuwe, a lawyer who attended the service, said the Queen should be celebrated despite differing views.

“We must celebrate her as a human being, mother and grandmother of her family, but at the same time we must declare that she never acknowledged or apologized for the atrocities inflicted on our parents and grandparents when they demanded their freedom”, he said

He was referring to the Mau Mau rebellion against British colonial rule in which many Kenyans say they were beaten and sexually assaulted by officers acting for the British administration.

St. Philip’s Church is where the late queen worshiped as a princess before ascending the throne. In 2013, Kenya declared the church a national monument.

The Queen served as Kenya’s head of state from 1963 to 1964, when the country was an independent sovereign state, and visited on her honeymoon.

On September 9, former President Uhuru Kenyatta declared four days of mourning for the late monarch. He said Kenya would observe a period of national mourning from Friday September 9 until sunset on Monday September 12.

During this period, the Kenyan flag was flown at half mast in all Kenyan diplomatic missions, the grounds of public buildings, all military bases, posts and stations and all warships of the Republic of Kenya.

The Queen will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle on Monday evening during a private service for members of the Royal Family.

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