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Prince Makonnen Haile Selassie, Duke of Harar (baptismal name: Araya Yohannes; 16 October 1923 – 13 May 1957) was the second son, and second youngest child, of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Empress Menen Asfaw. He was made Mesfin (or Duke) of Harar upon the coronation of his parents in 1930.
It was widely believed that Emperor Haile Selassie favored the Duke of Harar over all his other children, and it was even rumored that the Emperor even considered naming Makonnen as his heir, instead of his liberal elder son, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen. However, Prince Makonnen died in an automobile crash in 1957 on his way to the resort town of Adama from Debre Zeit, east of Addis Ababa. He was buried in the crypt of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa.
Prince Makonnen's family
Prince Makonnen was married to Sara Gizaw, who also became a Princess and the Duchess of Harar. Together they had five sons:
- HIH Prince Paul Wossen Seged.
- HIH Prince Mikael.
- HIH Prince Dawit (known as Makonnen Makonnen).
- HIH Prince Taffari.
- HIH Prince Beede Mariam.
In 1974, with the overthrow of the Ethiopian monarchy, the widowed Duchess of Harar and her sons were all placed under detention, with the exception of Prince Makonnen Makonnen (Dawit) and Prince Taffari who were abroad at school. After a long and harsh imprisonment, Princess Sara was released by the Derg regime along with the other female members of the Imperial family in 1989. A year later, her sons were also released from their imprisonment. Unfortunately just days before their release, Prince Dawit Makonnen was found dead at his home in Switzerland.
After the fall of the Derg regime, Princess Sara and her sons were allowed to travel abroad. And after a number of years living in London, the Duchess has now returned to live in Addis Ababa. The Duchess of Harar was prominent at the Imperial funerals held for her brother-in-law, the Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen (also known as Emperor-in-Exile Amha Selassie I), the Emperor Haile Selassie I, and the funeral for Princess Tenagnework.
Honours and decorations
Prince Makonnen received numerous honours and decorations:
- Grand Collar and Chain of the Order of Solomon
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Seal of Solomon
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Holy Trinity
- Grand Cordon of the Order of Menelik II
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia
- Imperial Coronation Medal in Gold (1930)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Vasa of Sweden (1935)
- St George Medal of War
- Haile Selassie I Medal of War
- Haile Selassie Gold Medal
- Star of Victory (1944)
- Exile Medal with five torches (1945)
- Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim of Sweden (1954)
- Knight of the Order of the Elephant of Denmark (1954)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic of Spain (1954)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1954)
- Grand Cross of the Order of St Olav of Norway (1954)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium (1954)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange of the Netherlands (1954)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix of Greece (1954)
- Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria (1954)
- Order of the Yugoslav Star, 1st class (1954)
- Imperial Silver Jubilee Medal, 1st Class (1955)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum of Japan (1956)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Star of Burma (1958, post.)
- Grand Cross of the Order of George I of Greece (1959, post.)