Kenya & Zimbabwe Memorialize Queen Elizabeth II

queen elizabeth harare zimbabwe
(Photo by KB Mpofu/Getty Images)

Staff from the UK Embassy and the St Marys and All Saints Cathedral in Harare, Zimbabwe setting up Queen Elizabeth II portrait on a stand ahead of her memorial service on September 15, 2022.

Despite strong criticism about the monarch's legacy in Africa, some leaders, including Kenya's William Ruto, took to social media to describe the queen's leadership as "admirable."

On Sunday, there will be a memorial service for the late Queen Elizabeth II at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi in Kenya. According to a statement from the British High Commission, the service will start at 3 PM. Kenyans who plan to attend the service will also honor the British monarch by signing a condolence book.

Kenya is the latest African country to honor the queen in a memorial service. Senior Kenyan state officials members are expected to be in attendance to pay their respects to the deceased, who died on Sept. 8 after ruling for 70 years. Earlier this week, Kenya's newly instated president William Ruto signed the Condolence Book at the British High Commissioner's residence.

Kenya is not the first African country to hold a memorial service for the late royal. Earlier this week, the Farai Mutamiri, the Bishop of Harare led a memorial service at the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe for the late monarch. The service was held at the Anglican Church in the capital, Harare. During a segment of the service he he made a statement in support of the royal family.

"We think of you and we would like to reassure you of our prayers for the royal family, the new king, King Charles III and the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Commonwealth upon the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II", said Mutamiri.

On the heels of the Queen Elizabeth's passing, there have been mixed reactions from Africa about her death. This was largely due to the decades-long contentious relationship that Britain's leading family has had with Africa. Despite the strong reactions that several Africans had about the monarch's passing, some African leaders, including Kenya's William Ruto, took to social media to describe the queen's leadership as "admirable," a sentiment that a few of his followers firmly disagreed with.

The British monarchy has had a complicated relationship with the African continent, and it is one that is shrouded by painful memories of oppression for some, including Dr. Uju Anya, the Carnegie Mellon University who went viral for speaking about the monarchy's dark history in Africa, and it's contributions genocide in Africa. Many of Anya's sentiments were echoed by several people who agreed that Britain's first family had a problematic past and present.

The queen's state funeral will happen at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday on September 18, and many world leaders are expected to be in attendance, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.