With the deeply saddening news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we look back on her connection to Malawi, and how her reign encompassed many historical moments for not only Queen Elizabeth II but other members of the British Royal Family, including the Queen Mother, her only daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal and her grandson Prince Harry.
In 1859, Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone ‘discovered’ Lake Malawi and led the way for future missionaries from the British Isles. In 1891, Britain established Nyasaland as a British territory and set up the governmental system. Although this all predates Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, it sets the scene for how Nyasaland became Malawi, the country it is today as a member of the Commonwealth.
Queen Elizabeth II took to the throne in 1952, and it was 12 years later in 1964 that she oversaw the progression of Nyasaland’s independence, and the renaming of the country to Malawi. For two years, until Malawi became a republic, Queen Elizabeth II was officially the Queen of Malawi.
In 1979, a landmark moment took place when Queen Elizabeth II visited Malawi for the first time. On her 17-day tour of Southeast Africa, she landed in the capital city of Lilongwe and was greeted with a parade of colour from locals adorned in beautiful dresses. The singing and dancing was all part of traditional Malawi culture that can still be experienced today. Welcomed by the first president of Malawi, Hastings Banda, Queen Elizabeth II visited various parts of the country, including the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, which was officially opened in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (after whom it was named). Queen Elizabeth II wore some of her most precious jewels on her tour of Malawi, indicating the importance of the visit and her affection for the country.
The Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II are not the only Royals to have visited the Warm Heart of Africa and developed a fondness for the country. The Queen also passed her affection for Malawi down to her only daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal.
Although she first visited in 1982 to undertake charitable work as President of Save the Children Fund, it was Princess Anne’s desired return in 1999 which saw her discover many great projects across Malawi on a a four-day tour. She visited the northern town of Mzuzu to observe development projects including a clean water programme bringing safe to drink water to the town for the first time. The Princess Royal still supports many charitable projects in Malawi to this day.
Developing Queen Elizabeth II’s fondness for Malawi even further into the next generation is her youngest grandson Harry. Although now retired from official duty within the Royal Family, Prince Harry continued the connection with Malawi through his determined conservation work – once a great passion of Queen Elizabeth II’s late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Working with African Parks in 2016, Prince Harry assisted on the ground with the translocation of 500 Elephants from Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. It was following this successful mission, and his regular returns to the country, that he was named the President of African Parks, for whom Malawi is something of a flagship country.
Driven by Queen Elizabeth II’s first visit in 1979, the long-standing affection for Malawi is felt across generations of the British Royal Family, all of whom have been touched by the varied charms of the Warm Heart of Africa, its people and its natural assets. Many volunteers and charity projects across the country still continue the work supported by the Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth II’s connection to Malawi, and the extension of her family’s work, will long be noted in history and continue to help the country to thrive. Alongside the rest of the world, Malawi mourns a highly valued, life-long friend and supporter and offers sincere thanks for her life of service.
Queen Elizabeth II
1926 – 2022
African Parks, responsible for the management of 3 of Malawi's major national parks and wildlife reserves, have released their latest annual report. In this article, we look at their work in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
Kumbali Country Lodge is especially pleased to invite you to experience the two new features of the property. The Summer House, an enchanting sunlit conservatory, and the new English gardens.
Wine and Wings, the very successful side project by Crafted Africa, in which they provide delicious South African wines right to the mouths of locals and tourists spending time in Malawi, see the return of their Wine Tasting Festival.
African Parks, responsible for the management of 3 of Malawi's major national parks and wildlife reserves, have released their latest annual report. In this article, we look at their work in Majete Wildlife Reserve.
For the first time on record, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust has reported a sighting of an Egyptian vulture, an endangered species that has never before been seen in Malawi.
African Parks, responsible for the management of 3 of Malawi's major national parks and wildlife reserves, have released their latest annual report. In this article, we look at their work in Liwonde National Park
In this blog from Robin Pope Safaris, we hear from Jenn over at Pumulani Lodge as she and her partner Mike, along with the rest of the Pumulani team, prepare for a fantastic season ahead.
Orbis DMC, previously known as The Responsible Safari Company, have released their latest newsletter with plenty of updates on a very busy month for the Malawi based tour operation.