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In a Week of Honours, Ethiopian Crown Council President Receives the Freedom of the City of London

His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, was given the prestigious honour of Freedom of the City of London, on November 17, 2023, mirroring the similar honour given to his Grandfather, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, during his State Visit to Britain in 1954.

The honour, bestowed at the Guildhall in London, occurred in the same week that Prince Ermias paid a formal, and yet sentimentally important visit to the Emperor’s home in exile in Britain — Fairfield House, in the city of Bath — where he was received on November 14, 2023, by officials caring for the home and its grounds as a monument to the Emperor, as well as by the Mayor of Bath. The Mayor then escorted Prince Ermias and Princess Saba Kebede on a tour of the city, including the famous 2,000-year-old Roman baths, where a photograph of the Emperor still adorns the walls from his time there in the 1930s.

It was from Fairfield House that Emperor Haile Selassie worked to get British support for the war to remove the invading Italian forces from Ethiopia.

On the next day, November 15, 2023, His Imperial Highness presented and unveiled an important monumental plaque at the Royal Chapel, St. George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle, near London. The monument paid tribute to the great victory which the Emperor, along with his British and Commonwealth allies, achieved in 1941, driving the occupying Italians from Ethiopia. This was the culmination of the work he began at Fairfield House.

While at Windsor Castle, Prince Ermias and his wife, HIH Princess Saba Kebede, paid tribute to the son of Emperor Tewedros II, Prince Alemayu, who is buried outside St. George’s Chapel. Prince Alemayu had been raised by Queen Victoria after the death of Emperor Tewedros II, and was deeply loved by the British monarch. She marked his passing by erecting a monument to him inside the Chapel, something unique in the Castle’s history, and ensuring that he was buried with the graves of some 40 or more British Royal Family members.

Prince Ermias unveiled the Victory of Gondar memorial plaque, initially, at Prince Alemayu’s gravesite. The Chapel’s Canon Jonathan Coore delivered a sermon on the occasion, speaking in English and Ge’ez, and quoting from the Book of Enoch. Prince Ermias presented him with a Victory of Gondar medal to commemorate the event and the great Ethiopian-British alliance.