heir Imperial Highnesses Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie and Princess Saba Kebede arrived in Ottawa on November 15, 2017, to start the Crown’s Commemorative Visit to Canada, marking the 50th anniversary of the State Visit of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1967. The Emperor’s visit coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, and Their Imperial Highnesses’ visit coincided with the 150th anniversary.
These series of Commemorative Visits are designed to support the Ethiopian diaspora, and to help the drive toward unifying Ethiopians, who still suffer from the divisive effects of the coup and subsequent destruction of Ethiopia by the Dergue which seized power in 1974.
The Imperial Couple chose to drive into Canada from Buffalo, New York, so that they could see some of the countryside on their first formal visit to Canada. Their visit saw the start of their formal activities on November 16, 2017, with a visit by His Imperial Highness to the new Headquarters of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in Ottawa, where the Honorary President of the Society, Alex Trebek, OC, and RCGS Chief Executive Officer John Geiger, GOEM, welcomed him.
Prince Ermias was honored in a ceremony by the RCGS with investiture as an Honorary Fellow of the Society, in which the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario placed the Fellow’s medal around the neck of His Imperial Highness.
The Imperial couple also visited Parliament on November 16, as guests of the Usher of the Black Rod, Mr J. Greg Peters, MVO, who also participated with some 500 other dignitaries, including Fellows of the RCGS, at a dinner at the Museum of History.
The couple departed for Toronto early on November 17, 2017, for meetings with the Ethiopian and African diaspora communities and for a special visit to Dundurn Castle, in Hamilton. They were also be guests at a private reception honoring the work undertaken by the University of Toronto to promote educational, medical, and other areas of cooperation with Ethiopia, and for the University’s teaching of Ethiopian and Ge’ez studies.
They departed Toronto for the US on Sunday, November 19, 2017.