Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Amha Selassie I - Emperor-in-Exile

Quick Links:

  • Statement from the Crown Council of Ethiopia and the Imperial Family
  • The Imperial Churches
  • The Imperial Constitutions of the Empire of Ethiopia
  • The Imperial Crest of the House of Solomon
  • Coronation Traditions in Imperial Ethiopia
  • Origins of the The Solomonic Dynasty, the Imperial House of Ethiopia
  • Family Trees of Various Branches of the Imperial Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia
  • Emperor Haile Selassie I, Part 1
  • Emperor Haile Selassie I, Part 2
  • Emperor Haile Selassie I, Part 3
  • Emperor Libne Dingel (Wanag Seged)
  • In Memory of Her Imperial Highness, Princess Tenagnework of Ethiopia
  • Emperor Sertse Dengel (Melek Seged)
  • Emperor Tekle Giorgis II
  • Emperor Tewodros II
  • Titles in the Empire of Ethiopia
  • Traditions, Rituals, Practices and Etiquette in the Ethiopian Empire
  • Emperor Yohannis IV
  • Empress Zewditu, Queen of Kings
  • Amha Selassie I,Emperor-in-Exile (Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen)
  • Imperial Burial Traditions
  • Flags and Symbols of Ethiopia
  • Imperial Funeral Events October 30th - November 5th, 2000
  • Emperor Gelawdewos (Atsnaf Seged)
  • Lij Eyasu Michael, Emperor-Designate (Eyasu V)
  • Maps of Ethiopia Across Time
  • Emperor Menelik II : Part I
  • Menelik II Part II: The Post Adowa Era
  • Emperor Minas (Admas Seged)
  • Imperial Monuments of Ethiopia
  • Pictures and Stories on the Imperial Funeral Events
  • Imperial Palaces and Residences of Ethiopia
  • Emperor Susneyous the Catholic (Siltan Seged)
  • The Imperial Family Today
  • Emperor Yacob
  • Emperor Yekonu Amlak
  • History of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church Homepage
  • Coronation Traditions in Imperial Ethiopia
  • Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen

    Crown Prince Merid Azmatch Asfaw Wossen
    Emperor-in-Exile, Amha Selassie I

    Prince Asfaw Wossen was born in Harrar, in August of 1916. He was the son of the then governor of Harrar, Dejazmatch Tefferi Makonnen (later Emperor Haile Selassie) and Woizero (later Empress) Menen. His father was the son of Ras Makonnen Wolde Michael, (the first cousin of Emperor Menelik II), and Woizero Yeshimebet Ali of Wollo. Ras Makonnen's mother was Tenagnework Sahle Selassie, daughter of King Sahle Selassie of Shewa, and sister to King Haile Melekot of Shewa. Prince Asfaw Wossen's mother Menen, was the daughter of Asfaw, the Jantirar of Ambassel, an ancient hereditery title of Wollo. Her mother was Woizero Sehin Michael, daughter of King Michael of Wollo, and half sister of Lij Eyasu.

    With his first year of life, Prince Asfaw Wossen's life went through a great change as his great-uncle, Lij Eyasu was deposed, and his father became Crown Prince and Regent of Ethiopia. He was now second in line to the throne. In 1930, upon the death of Empress Zewditu, his parents were proclaimed Emperor and Empress. On November 2nd, 1930, Asfaw Wossen was anointed Crown Prince Ethiopia, at his father's coronation at the age of 13, and made an oath of loyalty. He was given the title of Merid Azmatch, and was made governor (initialy titular) of Wollo, as he was the great-grandson of the last king of Wollo. In 1933, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen was married to Princess Wollete Israel Seyoum, daughter of Ras Seyoum Mengesha Prince of Tigre, and great-granddaughter of Emperor Yohannis IV. The Princess had previously been married to Dejazmatch Gebre Selassie Baria-Gabr, a noble of Tigre, and had a son by him, Dejazmatch Zewde Gebre Selassie. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess would have one daughter, Princess Ijigayehu Asfaw Wossen.

    Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen with the Imperial Pet Lions

    Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen was being groomed for the throne, but measures were taken that would prevent a rival court from forming around him as had formed around his father during the reign of Empress Zewditu. His province of Wollo was among the most troubleprone in the Empire. Although the people were largely sympathetic to him as the great-grandson of their king, the Wolloyes still smarted from their defeat at Segelle, and the imprisonment of King Michael. Strong currents of Eyasuism remained in Wollo, and would remain for years to come, especially among the moslems of Wollo. The province would prove to be difficult to rule for the Addis Ababa government, and would be the source of endless trouble for it. Wollo would prove to be the last nail in the coffin of Emperor Haile Selassie's reign with the famine there during the 1970's. With the Italian invasion of 1935, the Crown Prince's province became the main staging ground for the Emperor's campaign. However, with the defeat of the Imperial forces at Maychew in southern Tigrai, the Raya and Azebo Oromos of Wollo rose up and began to attack the retreating Imperial Army as the Italians marched southward. They were said to have been motivated by the opportunity to exact revenge for being raided in punishment for their attacks on other neighboring tribes in the previous years. This was further compounded by the news that Lij Eyasu had died in imprisonment, and there was a widespread suspicion that he had been murdered. Emperor Haile Selassie, who was retreating from the battle at Maychew was attacked several times during his detour to Lalibella where he went to pray in the face of his impending defeat. Once the Emperor arrived in Addis Ababa, the decision to go into exile was made, and Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen, Crown Princess Wollete Israel, their daughter, and the rest of the Imperial family, boarded a train with the Emperor and Empress and fled to Djibouti. Following a short stay in Jerusalem, the Imperial family moved to Britain, where the Emperor bought Fairfield House, in Bath. They would remain here for the next five years. At some point during this time, Princess Wollete Israel left England and moved to Egypt with her daughter. The Crown Prince and Princess would later be divorced. Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen used his time in exile to enter the University of Liverpool to study Political Science, the first heir to the throne to do so.

    At the time of the war of Liberation in 1941, the Crown Prince accompanied his father to the Sudan, and together with the Duke of Harrar, was present with their father when he crossed the border back into Ethiopia and raised the Imperial Flag at Omedla. He then returned to the Sudan to study at the Sobat Military Acadamy while his father led Gideon force into Gojjam. He returned to his father's side with the Duke of Harrar to attend the triumphal re-entry of the Emperor into Addis Ababa on May 5th, 1941, exactly 5 years to the day of the city's fall to the Italians. The Crown Prince commanded the joint Ethiopian and British forces which captured Gondar the last city held by the Italians, later that year. Following the liberation, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen was named acting governor of Tigrai (until the hereditary Prince, his ex-father-in-law, Ras Seyoum was reappointed). and acting governor of Begemidir and Semien. He remained governor of Wollo throughout.

    Emperor Amha Selassie and Empress Medferiashwork
    As Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Ethiopia

    Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen re-married in 1945. The new Crown Princess was Medferiashwork Abebe, daughter of General Abebe Damtew, and niece of the late Ras Desta Damtew who was the husband of Princess Tenagnework Haile Selassie. Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen and Crown Princess Medferiashwork would have three daughters, Princesses Mariam Sena, Sehin, and Sifrash Bizu, and a son, Prince Zera Yacob. Prince Asfaw Wossen's daughter by his first marriage, Princess Ijigayehu was married in the 1950's to Dejazmatch Fikre Selassie Hapte Mariam, son of the hereditary ruler of Leqa Neqemt, and later governor of Wellega. He was also the brother of Princess Mahisente Hapte Mariam, wife of Prince Sahle Selassie. Princess Ijigayehu and Dejazmatch Fikre Sellassie would become the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters. Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen's daughter from his second marriage, Princess Mariam Sena (known as Mary) married Lij Seyfu Zewde, and had two sons. His daughter Princess Sifrash also married and his son Prince Zera Yacob was married in exile to Nunu Getaneh, and had a daughter, Princess Lideta.

    Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen and Crown Princess Medferiashwork with Prince Zera Yacob.

    In December 1960, Emperor Haile Selassie departed for a state visit to Brazil. Soon after his departure, the Officers of the Imperial Guard, led by their Commander, Lt. General Mengistu Newaye and his brother Girmame launched a coup-d'etat. after seizing key points in the capital, they placed the leading figures of the nobility and the government under arrest in the Green Salon in the Guenete Leul Palace. Empress Menen, Princess Tenagnework and the Duchess of Harrar along with their children were placed under guard at their respective homes (Empress Menen had for some time been spending much of her time in a one story villa near the Guenete Leul Palace because her illness made negotiating the stairs at the palace too difficult). Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen was forced to go on the radio and announce that the Imperial Guard had overthrown the Emperor, and that he was assuming the throne. He announced that he would be a constitutional monarch and would "live on a salary". He announced that this was done to liberate Ethiopians from poverty and backwardness. He also announced that his cousin Ras Imiru was to be Prime Minister, and that Lt. General Mulugueta Bulli would be Chief-of-Staff. Ras Imiru, also a captive along with the Crown Prince and was aslo forced to aquiece. General Mulugueta, was not cooperative, and was held prisoner in the Green Salon. The coup leaders had made certain key mistakes. They failed to win over or arrest the commanders of the regular army, and they failed to sieze three key figures. One was Prince Asrate Kassa, the leading concervative nobleman, the other two were Crown Princess Medferiashwork and Prince Sahle Selassie. Crown Princess Medferiashwork, convinced that her husband was being forced to accept the throne, played an important role. She and her children had been left alone in their house, so she contacted the commanders of the Army and had them meet in her house with Prince Asrate Kassa and the other nobles who had eluded capture. This enabled them to coordinate their efforts and resolve to refuse to accept the coup-d'etat. Prince Sahle Selassie was a ham radio hobbyist. He was also left alone in his home, so he was able to send out a message to ham radio opperators that the Imperial Guard in Ethiopia had launched a coup-d'etat against his father. The ham radio opperators around the world were able to contact the Emperors plane on it's way to Brazil, and he promptly turned back. The final straw was when the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Abune Baslios, refused to recognize the new government. Instead he issued an excommunication against those who had defied the monarch anointed by the church, and called on the people not to accept them as their rulers. This edict was printed up and scattered all over Addis Ababa by Army helicopters. News arrived that the Emperor had landed in Asmara, and that the population there had turned out by the thousands to greet him in an act of loyalty. The army then stormed the Guenete Leul Palace pushing out the Imperial Guards, and freed the Crown Prince and Ras Imiru. However, the coup leaders had fled, but not before machine-gunning the prisoners in the Green Salon, killing many of the leading figures of the nobility and the government. The Emperor returned and order restored.

    Following the 1960 coup attempt, the public began to speculate as to whether the Crown Prince was an active participant in the attempt to overthrow his father. His radio address to the people was explained to have been given under extreme duress. However, it had long been rumored that he was far more liberal in his outlook than his father, and that he favoured reducing the role of the monarchy from the all powerful possition it held, to a symbolic constitutional one. It led many to believe that the Prince may have at the very least sympathised with some of the plotters ideals if not having a direct part in their schemes. It was thought significant that the Prince and Ras Imiru, two men of the dynasty known to have liberal leanings, were removed from the Green Salon and sent upstairs in the Palace before the Guards massacred the imprisoned nobles and officials. In an audience with some peace corp officials that he granted in the mid sixties, Prince Asfaw Wossen stated that he recognized the need for extensive land reform, and immplied that there would be changes in the role of the monarchy in his reign. The Crown Prince remained the legal and hereditary heir to the throne however, and reformers of monarchist sympmathies decided to patiently wait for his turn on the Throne of Solomon. Some more conservative elements however are said to have wondered if there were not a way to bypass the Prince and either enthrone his underage son Prince Zera Yacob, or one of the sons of the Duke of Harrar under a regency. Some are said to have whispered of a regency under the conservative Prince Asrate Kassa, others speculated that this Prince should himself be made Emperor as his blood decent from Solomon was equal to that of the Crown Prince. Others went so far to wish that women had not been removed from the succession by the 1955 constitution which might have allowed the more conservative Princess Tenagnework to succeed her father. They probably weren'taking into account the close personal bond between Princess Tenagnework and her brother the Crown Prince, and her fierce loyalty to him. Many were convinced that the succession of the Crown Prince might cause upheaval between the liberal and conservative interests within the government and across the Empire. This would never be tested. In 1973, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen suffered a massive stroke which paralized him. He was rushed to Switzerland for treatment, and his wife and children accompanied him. As most people did not belive that the Prince would survive, and as the stability of the country came under increasing assault from student protest and economic stresses caused by the OPEC embargo of 1973, pressures increased on the Emperor Haile Selassie to name an heir from the younger generation. The Emperor resisted. The Crown Prince was still the legal heir, and unless he were to die, the Emperor did not see any need to name another heir. However, the Emperor himself being in his Eighties, the future looked more and more uncertain, and the embattled government of Prime Minister Endalkachew Makonnen continued to urge him to name another heir. The conservatives, encouraged by the posibility of realizing their hopes for an underage Emperor governed by a conservative regency, leant their strong support. Finally, the Emperor announced that his grandson, Prince Zera Yacob Asfaw Wossen, son of the Crown Prince, would become "Acting Crown Prince", while his father was in ill health. This was taken to mean that Prince Zera Yacob was now an "Heir Presumptive" pending the death of the "Heir Apparent" Prince Asfaw Wossen, which was expected at any time. Prince Zera Yacob was a student at Oxford at the time, and accepted the new title with appropriate dignity. The possition of "Acting Crown Prince" however was unprecidented in the histories of the monarchies of the world, and the Emperor was clearly reluctant to create this title which seemed to anticipate the death of his son. Ironically, the Crown Prince would not only survive, but would outlive almost all of the officials who had been certain that he was at death's door and also those who perhaps eagerly looked forward to a conservative regency. The entire cabinets of both Prime Minister Endalkatchew Makonnen and Ex-Prime Minister Aklilu Haptewold, the military leaders,the varous governors and officials at various levels, aristocrats of all ranks, and aides of the Emperor himself were placed under arrest one by one, by the new military coordinating commitee. The arrests continued from February 1974 into August in what came to be known among westerners as the "creeping coup". Noblemen, ministers, officers, judges, digniaries of the Imperial court were rounded up and placed under arrest at the Fourth Army Division headquarters in South Eastern Addis Ababa by the Military Coordinating Committe known as the Dergue. The Dergue had been formed under an Imperial Charter to investigate the causes of various military mutinies and insurections that had spread accross the Empire over the previous year. They had extended their mandate to cover the right to investigate government corruption, and used this to sweep up the bulwarks of Ethiopia's ruling class. On September 11th, 1974, all members of the Imperial Family in Ethiopia were placed under arrest. The next day, September 12th, Emperor Haile Selassie was removed from the Jubilee Pallace and his deposition was announced to the world. The new military government announced that Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen would become "king" rather than Emperor, and that the title Conquering Lion of Judah would become "Conquering Lion of Ethiopia", and that the cross would be removed from the staff in the Lion symbol. Upon this news, reporters assembled outside the residence in Geneva where the Crown Prince and his family were staying. A spokesman came out to state that the Prince had no comment on developments, and that he had recieved no summons from Addis Ababa. He also spoke of the concern for the safety of the Emperor and the other members of the Imperial family that was shared by those members of the family outside Ethiopia. Two months later, on November 24,1974, Addis Ababa radio announced the execution of 58 former officials of the Imperial government without trial, as well as the execution of the acting Head of State and his followers who had opposed the policies of the military government. The dead included Gen. Aman Michael Andom, the man who had replaced the Emperor as acting head of state, Prince Asrate Kassa, the president of the Crown Council, both the former Prime Ministers Aklilu Hapte-Wold and Endalkachew Makonnen, the Emperors grandson and son of Princess Tenagnework, Prince Rear-Admiral Iskinder Desta, the Emperor's son-in-law and former defence minister, Gen. Abiye Abebe, and many others. The country and the world reeled in shock. Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen, issued a statement condemning the executions. When the Prince and his family moved to London soon afterwards, they notified the Ethiopian Embassy of their imminent arrival. The charge-d'affairs in London telegramed Addis Ababa and asked for instructions as to how he was to receive Asfaw Wossen, as Crown Prince, or as the officially designated King and Head of State of Ethiopia. The Dergue (after some angry exchange of veiws with monarchist members who did not long survive), ordered him to receive the Prince and his family as he would any regular Ethiopian. Soon afterwards the military government announced it's communist program and anounced the abolishment of the monarchy and all Imperial titles and ranks.

    Empress Medferiashwork and Emperor Amha SelassieAs Crown Prince and Crown Princess
    Bowing their farewells from a train window
    to Ethiopian Embassy Staff that had come to see them off

    The following year was a horrible one for the Imperial family. The men of the Imperial family inside Ethiopia (basically the sons of the Duke of Harrar) were imprisoned in the celars of the old Imperial (Menelik) Palace. The women were first kept at the home of the Duchess of Harrar, but were then moved to the Akaki Prison. Known as Kerchele or Alem Bekagn ( the end of the world), it is one of the worst prisons in Africa. While under arrest here, Princess Ijigayehu, daughter of the Crown Prince by his first marriage and the mother of six, died of illness and medical neglect. Not long afterwards, Princess Tenagnework's daughter Mary also died. On August 24th,1975,Radio Ethiopia anounced that the "ex-king" Haile Sellassie had died the previous night of an unspecified illness. It was announced that "the ceremony of burial" had already been held. What had actually happened was that the military council which now ruled the country, known as the Derg, had voted to kill him in secret. The Emperor had been strangled. His body had then been wrapped in a blanket, tied up with rope and buried in a deep grave, over which the leader of the Derg was to build a latrine that ajoined one of his offices.

    Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen lived in quiet exile in London with his wife and children. After the death of his daughter, his ex-wife, Princess Wollete Israel had obtained custody of Princess Ijigayehu's children (their father was imprisoned). Princess Wolette Israel, inspite of being the ex-wife of the Crown Prince, and the sister of the leader of a major rebel group (Ras Mengesha Seyoum)was the only princess not placed in Prison. Although the Crown Prince's grandchildren were not imprisoned, they were under considerable risk, and there was constant fear that they would be arrested or worse. In 1977, together with an American missionary family in Addis Ababa, the Imperial Family was able to engineer the escape from Ethiopia of the 6 children of the late Princess Ijigayehu, the 4 children of the imprissoned Princess Seble Desta, and the daughter of Princess Aida Desta( and daughter of Ras Mengesha). Thus, all the Crown Princes grandchildren, and the grandchildren of his sister Princess Tenagnework (with the exception of the daughter of Prince Rear Admiral Iskinder Desta) were now out of Ethiopia, insuring the continuation of the dynasty. Princess Tenagnework and her daughters, Princess Sara Duchess of Harrar and her sons remained in prison. Princess Mahisente, widow of Prince Sahle Sellassie, and her son Prince Ermias were out of Ethiopia at the time of the revolution, and also escaped imprisonment, as had Prince Dawit Makonnen, one of the sons of the Duke and Duchess of Harrar. Princess Sophia Desta's daughter also lived in London, as did Princess Tenangeworks husband Ras Andarkachew. Various other exiles congregated in London also. This was the basic make up of the Imperial family in exile.The Imperial family avoided political involvement for years, and kept a low profile. In 1981, Emperor Haile Sellassie's neice Princess Yeshashework Yilma became the first member of the family released from prison due to ill health and age. She died only a few months later in Ethiopia. Then in 1988, the government released from prison the women of the Imperial family. Released were, Princess Tenagnework Haile Sellassie, her daughters Princesses Aida, Seble, Sophia and Hirut Desta, Princess Sara Gizaw Duchess of Harrar, and Princess Zuriashwork Gebregziabher, widow of Prince Asrate Kassa. The official announcement of their release refered to each of the women as Mrs. rather than Princess. The international press did the same, but refered to Princess Tenagnework as Princess. A year later, the sons of the Duke and Duchess of Harrar were also released from prison. The entire Imperial family were now out of jail. Eventually they would all leave for Britain, the United States, and Canada.

    His Imperial Majesty
    The Emperor-in-Exile
    Over the years, opposition politicians had often urged Prince Asfaw Wossen to take a more active role in the struggle against communism. The Prince and his family however, were afraid that actions they took could jeopordize the lives of their family in prison in Ethiopia, so they refrained from political activity. The Prince also was a firm believer that the monarchy's future role in Ethiopia would have to be above politics, and should act as an impartial reconciler and symbol of unity, rather than the repository of power that it had been. So although he was clearly an anti-communist, he did not want to be seen as being partisan to one opposition group over another. Finally though, after years of persuasion, the Prince agreed to act. On April 7th, 1989, Crown Prince Merid Azmatch Asfaw Wossen was proclaimed Emperor Amha Selassie I, Conquering Lion of Judah, King of Kings of Ethiopia in Exile, at his home in London. He called on the people of Ethiopia to rise up and throw out un-Godly communism, and restore the monarchy, but under a constitutional framework. His wife became Empress Medferiashwork, and his son became Crown Prince Zera Yacob. A year later, Emperor Amha Selassie and his family left London and moved to the metropolitan area of Washington D.C. to be with the much larger Ethiopian community there. In May of 1991, the EPRDF reble movement marched into Addis Ababa and deposed the communist government. In response to their call for the formation of political parties, the Emperor authorized the formation of the Moa Anbessa monarchist movement to advocate the setting up of a constitutional monarchy in Ethiopia. He also announced his intention of returning home for a visit.

    Under the bright lights of Television cameras, in May of 1992, the earthly remains of Emperor Haile Selassie I were disinterred from the place that President Mengistu Haile Mariam had ordered them buried. Mengistu had ordered the Emperor to be buried upright, had a very thick concrete and rock slab lain over the spot, and built a latrine over the secret grave. On the same day, the 60 martyrs of November 23,1974 were also disintered from their mass grave on the grounds of the Akaki prison. The Emperor's remains were escorted to the church of St. Mary Ba'eta, the Masoleum of Emperor Menelik II and Empress Zewditu, by weeping relatives and palace servants. Emperor Haile Selassie's remains were placed temporarily in the mausoleum, untill the Imperial family could organize a fitting funeral, and bury him at Holy Trinity Cathedral next to his wife Empress Menen as he had wanted. However, the Imperial family and the Transitional government clashed over several issues. First, the government refused the Imperial families request for a state funeral, insisting that the family arrange a private funeral, no matter how large or elaborate. They also refused to guarantee security for the various foreign dignitaries that might attend, including foreign royalty. The Imperial family decided to leave the remains where they were, in a holy place of great honor, the masoleum church of St. Mary Ba'eta, until such time as it became possible to give the late Emperor a funeral befitting his possition and place in history. Due to this, Emperor Amha Selassie did not return to Ethiopia, but his daughter Princess Sehin represented him at the funeral of the 60 martyrs at Holy Trintiy Cathedral on July 11, 1992. The Emperor's health suffered over time, yet he continued to voice his opinion and offer advice on certain national issues from his home in exile. He strenuously denounced the referendum on Eritrean independence, and spoke out against any move to seperate Eritreans from their motherland Ethiopia. He also protested the arrest of members of oppossiton parties in Ethiopia. He was an avid promoter of democratic change in Ethiopia, a supporter of the rule of law, and advocated the restoration of a constitutional monarchy in his country. Emperor Amha Selassie, in an effort to better organize the monarchist movement, decided to restore the Imperial Crown Council which had been abolished by the Dergue regime, and whose members had all been exectued or gone into exile. He also had tentative plans to restore the Haile Selassie I foundation established by his father.

    Idealized Painting of Emperor Amha Selassie and Empress Medferiashwork, Exiled Monarchs

    After having lived in the second exile of his life from 1973 until 1997, Amha Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia died at a hospital in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. on January 17, 1997. He was 80 years old. The death of "the former Crown Prince, Merid Azmatch Asfaw Wossen" was anounced to the people of Ethiopia by Ethiopian Radio and Television on January 19th. The government also gave it's consent to his burial in Ethiopia, on the condition that the family not insist on a state funeral. The Emperors body arrived in Addis Ababa on May 1st, and was taken to the house that had been given to Princess Tenagnework by the communist government upon her release. His coffin was drapped by the Imperial standard (the first time that flag had been displayed in Ethiopia since the fall of the monarchy), and placed in a tent in the compound where an all night vigil was held. For the previous three days, a continuous funeral feast had been held at this place, attended by hundreds. The following day, throngs of thousands packed Holy Trinity Cathedral. Hundreds of others followed the old mercedes hearse as the Emperor's coffin was taken to his final rest. As the hearse entered the grounds of the Cathedral, the huge crowds erupted in clapping and ulultation, to thank God for allowing the exiled monarch to find his final rest in his homeland. The Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Abune Paulos, and all the Bishops celebrated the funeral mass, and afterwards, the coffin was lowered into the crypt under the church and laid to rest with the other deceased members of the Imperial family in the Imperial vaults. Both the Imperial family and the government were clearly suprised and stunned at the huge turnout for the funeral. The official press estimated the crowd to be around 5 thousand but eye witnesses said that the numbers were many times that figure. Amha Selassie I never reigned in his country, but those who were aware of him respected his commitment to liberalization during the reign of his father, and his steadfast advocacy of Ethiopia and her various issues in his many years in exile. It is generally accepted that Amha Selassie would have made an ideal constitutional monarch for the Ethiopian Empire.

    His Imperial Majesty Amha Selassie I, during his time as Crown Prince was the recipient of numerous orders and medals in Ethiopia and abroad. From his father Emperor Haile Selassie, he recieved the Collar Of Solomon, and was a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Seal of Solomon. He was also a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Trinity, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Emperor Menelik II, and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia. He was a recipient of the Ethiopian Military Medal of Merit of St George, and the Distinguished Military Medal of Haile Selassie, from the Queen of Great Britain he recieved the Great Order of the British Empire, the Grand Cross of the Victorian Order, and the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. From the French republic he recieved the Grand Cross of the L�gion d�honneur. The King of Norway awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of St Olav. The King of Sweden made him a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Vasa (Sweden) in 1935, and a Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim in 1954. He recieved the Grand Cross of the National Order of the Southern Cross from the government of Brazil, the Order of Saints Maurice & Lazarus from Italy, the Order of L�opold from Belgium, the Order of the Redeemer from the Kingdom of Greece, the Order of Mohammed Ali from the Kingdom of Egypt, the Order of the Nile from the Republic of Egypt), the Order of the Star from Communist Romania, the Order of the White Elephant and the Order of the Crown from Thailand, the Order of Kawakab and the Order of El Nahada from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Order of the Netherlands Lion fro the Netherlands, the Order of the Cedar of Lebanon, the Order of the Black Star from Benin, the Order of National Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Order of the Chrysanthemum and the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan,the Order of Polonia Restituta from Poland, the Order of Merit from Bulgaria, and the Order of Pius IX from the Holy See. He also recieved the Order of Alfonso XII from Spain, the Order of the Elephant from Denmark, the Order of the Star from Ghana, and the Medal of Honour from Monaco.

    eXTReMe Tracker