The Crown Council of Ethiopia released the following statement to the press today,መጋቢት5, 2015 (March 14, 2023):
Le’ul Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Ethiopian Crown Council, congratulates His Royal Highness Ahmed Alimirah Hanfare on the occasion of his coronation as Sultan of the Assau, which took place yesterday, መጋቢት4, 2015 (March 13, 2023) at Assaita, the residential capital of the Sultan in Afar. His Royal Highness Ahmed Alimirah Hanfare has become the 15th Sultan of the Afar, and succeeds Sultan Hanfare Alimirah, who passed away on መስከረም10, 2013 (September 20, 2020).
Le’ul Ermias was unable to attend the coronation, but wrote to the Crown Prince of the Afar, His Royal Highness Omar Alimirah Hanfare, to convey to the new Sultan “my wishes that he have a long life, good health, and a fruitful and peaceful reign”. In his letter, Le’ul Ermias spoke of the long bond between the Mudaito Dynasty of the Afar people and his own Solomon dynasty. He wrote of bitwoded Sultan Alimirah, who reigned from 1944 to 2011, that he “was the pride of not just the Afar people, but all the people of Ethiopia who were inspired by his patriotism, loyalty, bravery and wisdom”.
In remarks to the press, Le’ul Ermias added that the coronation of a Sultan of the Assau is not simply an occasion for the Afar people, but for all Ethiopians. “The Assau Sultanate is a reminder,” he said, “of the rich mosaic of traditional institutions with deep roots throughout Ethiopia. We look forward to a day when all Ethiopians will be able to restore and preserve their ancestral crowns. Our congratulations to Sultan Ahmed and to his people.”
The International Society for the Imperial Ethiopian Orders hosted the annual Victory of Adwa Dinner at Washington, D.C.’s Army & Navy Club on March 4, 2023. This white-tie gala event is held every year under the patronage of Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie I and President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia. The Victory of Adwa Dinner celebrates the triumph of Ethiopian forces under the leadership of Emperor Menelik II over the Italian army at the northern Ethiopian town of Adwa on March 1, 1896.
This great battle preserved Ethiopia’s independence, guaranteed her being treated as a sovereign state by the colonial powers of the day, and heralded the movement for freedom across colonized Africa and the African diaspora. The Ethiopian Crown, in addition to celebrating this great event in Ethiopian and African history with a gala dinner, also holds an investiture where individuals who have contributed to advancement of the cause of Ethiopia are recognized with the bestowal of Imperial Orders and Medals.
A special investiture was held in the afternoon before the dinner for those receiving Imperial Orders, while the Victory of Adwa Anniversary Medals were awarded at the dinner itself. A silent auction was also held during the dinner to benefit the Crown Council.
This year the dinner was honored with the presence of a distinguished ministerial delegation headed by Her Excellency the Honorable Olivia Grange, Jamaican Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and member of the Jamaican Parliament for St. Catherine Central district since 1997. Also present with the Jamaican delegation was Her Excellency the Honorable Audrey Marks, Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States and Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the Organization of American States (OAS).
Ethiopia’s Deputy Chief of Mission to the United States, Ambassador Zelalem Birhan, was also present at the dinner.
In his welcoming remarks, Prince Ermias spoke of celebrating the “Spirit of Adwa” and thanked those present for their contributions towards that spirit. A benediction was given by the Reverend Memher Abunu Mammo before the meal. Lij Asfaw Shiferaw Sahle, a descendant of Ras Darge Sahle Selassie, was invested as a Member of the Order of the Seal of Solomon. Lij Asfaw gave a speech on the legacy of the Battle of Adwa and the role of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in that era.
Following the presentation of Adwa Medals to the deserving individuals, one of the awardees Woiz. Yeshimebet T. Belay gave a speech of thanks. In the final presentation of the evening, Prof. Giovanni Ruffini, CSE, and Deacon Solomon Kibriye, CSE, gave a presentation on the Crown’s fundraising drive for the Renovation of Holy Trinity Cathedral which is underway. Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie was appointed as the Cathedral’s Renovation Fundraising Ambassador in a special ceremony held at Holy Trinity Cathedral during his visit in November of last year.
The following individuals were invested with High Orders of Imperial Ethiopia:
Her Excellency the Honorable Olivia Grange – Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Honor of Ethiopia
Lij Asfaw Shiferaw Sahle – Member of the Order of the Seal of Solomon
Yitayil Berhanu – Bestowed with the title of Lij
Daniel Stephenson – Knight Commander of the Star of Honor of Ethiopia
Dr. Marakay Rodgers – Dame Commander of the Star of Honor of Ethiopia
Rev. Dr. Vance Whippo – Knight Commander of the Star of Honor of Ethiopia
Román I. Rodriguez – Knight Commander of the Star of Honor of Ethiopia
Barbara Blake-Hannah – Officer of the Order of the Star of Honor of Ethiopia
The following individuals were honored with the Adwa Medal
Rev. Memhir Abunu Mammo
Lij Yitayil Berhanu
Woiz. Almaz Yigizaw
Adam von Gootkin
Woiz. Yeshimebet T. Belay
Woiz. Betel Sheba Tekeste
Engineer Thomas Barfield
Woiz. Gelila Sebhatu
Capt. Lij Nebyat Demessie
Lij Tedla Melaku
Woiz. Elizabeth Dinella
The 127th Anniversary of the Battle of Adwa, and the memory of Emperor Menelik II, Empress Taitu Bitul, and all the heroes of that great victory were thus celebrated with the dignity and majesty that they are owed.
For those wishing to support Prince Ermias and the Ethiopian Crown in their effort to raise funds for the renovation of Holy Trinity Cathedral, please visit and donate at:
His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia offers his heartfelt congratulations to His Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum & Echege of the See of St. Tekle Haimanot, on the 10th anniversary of his enthronement.
His Imperial Highness was honored to have been received in audience by His Holiness during his recent visit to Ethiopia where he expressed his admiration for the stand that the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has taken in regards to peace, and its role in maintaining the history of the country.
Prince Ermias recognizes the long record of His Holiness in regards to upholding the truth and providing spiritual guidance to many of the faithful through the dark days of shared exile during the Derg era. Moreover, His Holiness the Patriarch has been a true guardian of the unity and the canonical integrity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church from the ending of the schism four years ago, to his steadfast and principled stand in the recent crisis.
His Holiness was brought to the Patriarchal throne at a difficult time in the history of our country and of the Orthodox Church, and we are all thankful to God for him.
May God grant him a long life and good health, and may his blessings be upon us.
His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia sends Greetings to all as we enter this important period of reflection and fasting marked by the Great Lent. He stressed the particular importance of reflection at this particularly difficult time in Ethiopian history, which demands from all of us the compassion which will restore Ethiopian unity and peace. He offered the following prayer for this Lenten period:
“In the omnipresence of his spirit, and in the name and grace of our everlasting, merciful Holy Father, we pray to God, our Holy Creator, to bless us and to forgive us for our sins. Let us each pray and enter into a Covenant with God to commit ourselves to a period of fasting and prayer so that God blesses our country Ethiopia with the restoration of peace, love and unity; let us fast and pray so that we may also achieve world peace. Now is time for prayer. Now is the time for all of us to stretch our hands unto God in absolute faith and diligent prayer.”
A Statement by His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie,
President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia.
ጥር 23, 2015 / January 31, 2023
We have, these past weeks, been sadly reflecting on the passing, in Athens on January 10, 2023, of His Majesty King Constantine II of the Hellenes. He was a significant figure in the pantheon of Orthodox Christian monarchs, during his great service as King and afterwards, and always a true friend of his fellow Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia. Indeed, he was a friend to all Ethiopians.
There was, and is, a great warmth between Ethiopia and Greece, and not merely because of the links between our Orthodox Churches, but also because of the wonderful and loyal population of Greek Ethiopians. To them, and to the people of Greece in their homeland and around the world, we extend our profound sorrow and share in your loss.
To the Greek Orthodox Church, we extend our humble appreciation for the role the Church and Clergy played in the funeral and memorial services for His Majesty. They restored a sense of Greek nobility and dignity reminiscent of the days in which His Majesty and his forebears reigned.
The Ethiopian Crown was represented at the funeral solemnities by our Representative, Omiros Fotiadis, KCSE, who had also been loyal to His Majesty King Constantine for many years. And he conveyed our letter of sadness to Her Majesty Queen Anne-Marie, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos, and the Greek Royal Family.
We need, at this time of reflection, to build on the symbolism of His Majesty King Constantine to establish a stronger and more organised network of Orthodox Christian Royal and Imperial Houses to preserve the values of our societies, and to continue to serve as the bridge between Christendom and our national brethren of other Solomonic faiths. We, in Ethiopia, need to take inspiration from this period of reflection not only to reach out to our Orthodox brothers and sisters around the world, but also to our own Christians of different denominations and to the Muslim Ethiopians with whom our faith has given us an unshakeable bond.
His Majesty King Constantine by his virtue set an example of healing and unity and will not be forgotten.
It is with deep sadness that His Imperial Highness (HIH) Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie, on behalf of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, expresses his sincere condolences to all members of the Imperial Family, dear relatives and friends regarding the passing of the late Princess Seble Desta.
Princess Seble Desta was the last surviving child of Princess Tenagne Worq Haile Selassie, Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen Asfaw’s first child, and venerated war hero, His Excellency Ras Desta Damtew, who courageously fought in the resistance against the then Fascist Italy during the Second World War.
Princess Seble was an enlightened and compassionate person. She was a true survivor, in every sense of the word, with great fortitude, perseverance, and a strong personality. Princess Seble is someone who will be missed.
Princess Seble lost her father during the Italian war at a very young age. She subsequently lived in-exile in Bath, England with the rest of her family during the years of Ethiopia’s occupation by Italy from 1936-1941. During the Communist revolution in Ethiopia, Princess Seble lost her grandfather Emperor Haile Selassie, her brother, Commodore Eskinder Desta as well as her husband Dejazmatch Kassa Woldemariam whilst imprisoned. They were all murdered by the military junta that deposed Ethiopia’s Solomonic Dynasty, one of the longest lasting dynasties in the world, sixty of the Emperor’s top officials including Princess Seble’s brother Commodore Eskinder and the then Patriarch of Ethiopia Abune Tewoflos prior to unleashing a campaign of Red Terror on the whole nation killing millions of other Ethiopians thereafter.
After returning to Ethiopia from exile in England, Princess Seble worked as a personal secretary to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie and accompanied him on many State Visits around the world. Princess Seble, however, is known for her extensive humanitarian contributions, and the way in which she served her country and its citizens with the tenderness of heart and humbleness of spirit.
History will remember Princess Seble for following in both her mother, Princess Tenange Worq Haile Selassie and grandmother, Empress Menen’s, footsteps. Her humanitarian contributions and service as President of the Ethiopian Women’s Welfare Association, as documented by the New York Times on September 6, 1970 in an article entitled “Ethiopian Women Offered New Life” serves as such testament. It should also be noted that during Princess Seble’s tenure as President, the Ethiopian Women’s Association built a state-of-the-art facility to house young women safely.
Princess Seble’s kind deeds were a manifestation of her faith and strong belief in God. It is because of her unwavering faith in Christianity and the continued advocacy and support of the Imperial Family during times of need by European royal families, sympathetic foreign officials and human rights groups among others that she was able to ultimately cope and survive 14 years of imprisonment during the Derg era prior to being released in 1988. Princess Seble persevered through all of this, and while the pain and sorrow of losing her will always remain with those of us still living, the fact that she has now finally reunited with our beloved family in heaven gives us comfort.
Princess Seble reunited with her children and family members in the United States in 1989 after completing her education in England, first at the Clarendon School for Girls and then at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. She spent the last decades of her life caring for her family, helping raise her grandchildren, staying active in the community, including volunteering to teach English as a second language to immigrant community members in her neighborhood’s local library.
Princess Seble Desta passed away in her home on January 3, 2023. She was buried on Thursday, in the family crypt at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on January 12, 2023.
We will cherish your memories and always remember your name and kind deeds.
May the God Almighty rest Princess Seble’s soul in peace.
An Urgent Appeal fromLe’ulErmias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Ethiopian Crown Council
January 1, 2023 / Tahisas 23, 2015 EC – The Ethiopian Crown Council is organizing a fundraiser to benefit the International Society of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia to aid Menbere Tsebaot (“Altar of Victory”) Cathedral – more commonly known as Holy Trinity Cathedral – in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, now eighty years old and in serious need of renovation.
Holy Trinity Cathedral is one of the crown jewels of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It commemorates Ethiopia’s victory over the Italian occupation and is the final resting place of HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I; his wife, HIM Empress Menen; many members of the Ethiopian Imperial family; and the Ethiopian Patriarchs Abuna Takla Haymanot, Abune Merkorios, and Abuna Paulos. It is also the burial place of those who fought against the Fascist occupation, as well as prominent figures of Ethiopian society from various fields. It is where Patriarchs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church are enthroned and its Bishops consecrated, and where many ceremonies of both national and religious significance are carried out.
Over the history of this magnificent house of worship, while it has been expanded twice under the direction of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, other than minor repairs of inconsistent quality, the Cathedral has never received a proper total renovation. This has resulted in the building now being in a very poor state.
The Parish Council, under the leadership of Dean of the Cathedral, has launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to finance a complete and comprehensive renovation to the cathedral building. Structural damage due to a variety of factors will be addressed, along with secondary and tertiary effects, such as stains and fungus caused by water damage, damage to murals, updating the electrical systems, plumbing, damage to stained glass windows, a complete renovation of the crypt containing the tombs of HIM Emperor Amha Selassie and the other members of the Imperial family, and restoring the main and side altars of the Church. The work is being carried out with the assistance of experts on renovations of historic buildings, by one of the most prominent and reputable construction firms in the country.
On November 4, 2022 (Tiqimt 25, 2015 EC), Holy Trinity Cathedral held a special welcoming ceremony for Le’ul Ermias and other members of the Ethiopian Imperial family. After the ceremony, Cathedral officials invited Le’ul Ermias to serve as an official ambassador of the Cathedral’s fundraising efforts for its renovation. Le’ul Ermias has in turn pledged to use all of the resources at his disposal to raise a significant contribution towards the Cathedral’s total fundraising goal.
Now we have an opportunity to help Le’ul Ermias and Trinity Cathedral at the same time.
With the approval of Le’ul Ermias and the International Society for the Imperial Ethiopian Orders, we have launched a GoFundMe page for His Highness’s fundraising efforts for Trinity Cathedral at https://gofund.me/5553e593. We respectfully ask you to visit the page and contribute as soon as you are able. Donations of any size will make a difference, so feel free to circulate this information as widely as possible.
At the completion of the campaign, Le’ul Ermias hopes to present the Society’s total contributions to the Cathedral renovation in person at a special ceremony in Addis Ababa, and we anticipate inviting significant donors to participate in accompanying celebrations. This campaign is a vital step towards renewed recognition of the monarchy in Ethiopia, and a special symbol of the age-old relationship between Ethiopia’s church and crown.
We are grateful in advance for your help and participation.
HIH Prince Ermias Accepts Pan-African Award from the Ethiopian Government for Late Emperor Haile Selassie’s Leading Role in Establishing African Unity
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 1, 2022 (ጥቅምት 22, 2015): His Imperial Highness (HIH) Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, on November 1, 2022, accepted a Pan-African prize from Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed on behalf of HIH’s late grandfather, His Imperial Majesty (HIM) Emperor Haile Selassie I, for his leading role in establishing the Organization of African Unity, now known as the African Union.
The Ethiopian Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy, extended a special invitation to HIH Prince Ermias and his delegation during their official State Visit to Jamaica to par-take in Africa’s first Youth Summit held from October 29 to November 1, 2022, in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Prince Ermias was invited to accept an award along with other family members of the Founding Fathers of the Organization of African Unity and Pan-Africanism during the Youth Summit, and to engage with the next generation of African leaders.
The Ethiopian Government posthumously honored HIM Emperor Haile Selassie in a presentation before the Ethiopian Prime Minister, former African Heads of State, members of the Government, the diplomatic corps accredited in Addis Ababa, and notable personalities for his unwavering support in the quest for African freedom and independence as well as his leading role in establishing the OAU.
HIH Prince Ermias sincerely appreciated the Ethiopian Government taking the lead in honoring the legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie within Ethiopia after nearly a half-century of false propaganda and censorship by previous regimes. Prince Ermias also commended Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen for being positive agents-of-change, especially in light of Dr Abiy’s green legacy initiative and vision of creating a conducive environment to help advance, uplift, and bring prosperity to all Africans.
The four-day African Youth Summit brought young African leaders from across Africa to discuss the best ways of promoting and advancing Pan-Africanist ideals throughout the Continent.
A Statement by the President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia,His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie
Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Horace Chang and Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, The Honourable Olivia Grange met with His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie at Jamaica House. – courtesy Nicholas Melillo
Wednesday, October 19th, 2022, Kingston, Jamaica: the Honorable Madame Olivia Grange, on behalf of the Jamaican Government, and myself, on behalf of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, in the presence of my delegation and the media, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), agreeing to erect a statue of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie in National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica during the next fiscal year.
The MOU also establishes that both Parties shall collaboratively work together to foster and build upon the relations that were established pursuant to the State Visit made by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1966 in the areas of Education, Sports, Culture, Tourism and Trade. The purpose of the MOU is to also promote prosperity, peace and intercultural exchange amongst the peoples of Ethiopia, Jamaica, Africa and the Diaspora at-large.
I would like to take this very joyous moment to thank my delegation who accompanied me and Princess Saba, the Ethiopian Consul in Jamaica, the Jamaican Government for its support and hospitality as well as the Rastafarian Community.
A Statement by the President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia,His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie
(Kingston, Jamaica) – His Imperial Highness (HIH) Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of His Imperial Majesty (HIM) Emperor Haile Selassie, the Prince’s wife Her Imperial Highness (HIH) Princess Saba Kebede and advisors to the Crown Council of Ethiopia will arrive in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday, October 13, 2022.
HER Prince Ermias Sable Selassie will arrive upon invitation by the Government of Jamaica, as the Nation’s Special Guest for Heritage week. HIH Prince Ermias, along with his advisors, is scheduled to meet with various Government officials including the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, Honourable Dr. Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, the Governor General, Honourable Thomas Tavares-Finson, President of the Senate, the Honourable Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Mrs. Yodit Hylton, Honorary Consul of Ethiopia. HIH Prince Ermias and advisors are also slated to meet with political opposition and Rastafarian Community leaders in both Kingston and Montego Bay.
The Prince will also be presented with the Key to the City of Montego Bay by the Mayor, Leeroy Williams, and in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Horace Chang, and the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Homer Davis.
HIH Prince Ermias and Crown Council advisors will attend Communion Service at the Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Church in St Andrew and meet with members of the Orthodox Community. They will also tour the Trench Town Culture Yard in St Andrew and meet with members of the Rastafari community who have been invited to attend these special engagements with the Prince and his advisors.
HIH Prince Ermias is expected to issue a Statement and host a press briefing upon arrival.
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