Prince Makonnen

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Prince Makonnen
Duke of Harar
Spouse Sara Gizaw
Issue Prince Paul Wossen Seged
Prince Mikael
Prince Dawit
Prince Taffari
Prince Beede Mariam
Prince Eyasu
Princess Eleni
Full name
Araya Yohannes
Father Haile Selassie I
Mother Menen Asfaw
Born (1923-10-16)16 October 1923
Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Empire
Died 13 May 1957(1957-05-13) (aged 33)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Empire
Burial Holy Trinity Cathedral
Religion Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Monarchical styles of
The Duke of Harar
Reference style His Imperial Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial Highness
Alternative style Sir

Prince Mekonnen 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 Mekonnen 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[edit]

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[edit]

Prince Makonnen received numerous honours and decorations:[1]