Prince William arrives in Kenya for his ex-girlfriend’s Laikipia wedding, leaves wife at home


Kensington Palace announced that Prince William would be making a “private” four-day visit to Africa ...
Kensington Palace announced that Prince William would be making a “private” four-day visit to Africa PHOTO/COURTESY

The Duke of Cambridge arrived in Kenya on Thursday ahead of his ex-girlfriend’s wedding that will take place in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Laikipia County.

Kensington Palace announced that Prince William would be making a “private” four-day visit to Africa.

The official announcement of the trip made no mention of the fact that Jecca Craig, who was the Duke’s girlfriend when they were teenagers, is getting married on Saturday, March 26 and that the Duke will be in attendance.

Jecca Craig, 34, will marry director of the Zoological Society of London, Professor Jonathan Baillie, at her family’s luxury safari lodge.

Prince William, who left his wife Kate and their two children at home, will spend his Easter holiday in Kenya.

The Duke has remained so close to the Craig family that when Jecca’s brother got married in 2008, Prince William went to that wedding rather than that of his cousin Peter Phillips on the same day.

It was also during a 2010 holiday at the Lewa reserve that the Duke proposed to his wife Kate Middleton.

The Duke on Thursday called on President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi where they held bilateral talks touching on wildlife conservation and security.

“I have this morning met Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who is in the country to see first-hand some of the longstanding conservation and anti-poaching initiatives being supported by Tusk Trust. Our deliberations revolved around conservation, security and defence,” wrote President Kenyatta on Facebook.

“The Duke spoke of his deep personal affection for Kenya, the scene of his engagement to the Duchess of Cambridge, the then Kate Middleton. The two (Prince William and President Kenyatta) discussed the deep ties between the UK and Kenya across a broad range of topics… the Duke paid tribute to Kenya’s role in combating terrorism in Somalia – and conservation,” reads an official statement sent to media houses by the British High Commission.

The Duke of Cambridge is President of United for Wildlife, an alliance between seven of the world’s most influential conservation organisations and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

On March 15 2016, a declaration to help support the private sector in fighting the illegal wildlife trade was signed by 40 companies at Buckingham Palace. Signatories included bosses of shipping firms, airlines (including Kenya Airways) and customs operators.

Entertainment pundits proven wrong

The Duke has defied entertainment pundits’ earlier prediction that ruled out the possibility of him attending Ms Craig’s posh bash.

Their argument was: if the Duchess of Cambridge managed to avoid attending the London wedding of Prince William’s first university girlfriend, Olivia Hunt, because of a conveniently timed family skiing trip to France, what would make her allow Prince William to attend Jecca’s wedding on March 26?

Another reason for their proposition was that 33-year-old William’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, is just ten months old hence he would most likely not travel with the little one.

Besides spending vacation in Kenya, Prince William will witness veterinaries at work in the field as they fit radio tracking collars to elephants to help with research and conservation.

The Duke of Cambridge will also spend time with a team of highly trained rangers in Lewa Conservancy to learn about their work protecting one of Africa’s significant rhino populations from poaching.

 

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Brian Okoth
Story By Brian Okoth
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