Talk:Zera Yacob Amha Selassie

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I'm removing all references to "pretender" from this article, because it isn't accurate. A "pretender" would be an impostor pretending to be HIH Zera Yacob, or some legitimate heir to the throne. HIH Zera Yacob isn't pretending to be anyone he is not; he is HIH Zera Yacob, and he legally received the title of "Crown Prince" from his grandfather in 1974, in addition to from his father in 1989. ፈቃደ 14:11, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Not correct. A pretender is not an impostor, but an unestablished claimant. Zera Yacob would be a pretender if he claimed to have succeeded his father as emperor. As long as he continues to style himself merely crown prince, he is not a pretender.
Also not correct. A pretender in this sense is a claimant (not necissarily unestablished) to a vacant throne for which there is more than one claimant. Prince Zera Yacob is generally recognized as the legitimate claimant. However there is one other publicly declared pretender, Dr. Girma Yohannes Iyasu (who refers to himself as Abeto-Hoy Lij Girma Iyasu Menelik) grand son of Lij Iyasu (Iyasu V). There is nothing negative in the word pretender in this sense, and does not mean that Prince Zera Yacob is claiming to be something or someone he isn't. Also, in a minor correction, HIH Prince Zera Yacob recieved the title of "Acting Crown Prince" from his grandfather in 1974 and not "Crown Prince", as his father was still living, but severely incapacitated. He would have recieved the title of Crown Prince had his father died. He recieved the title of Crown Prince when his father was proclaimed Emperor in exile in 1989. Of course the use of the word pretender is not really important as describing the Prince as "Head of the Imperial House" is accurate and perhaps preferable. Sendeq.
No, a pretender is a claimant to an abolished or already occupied throne. Since the throne of Ethiopia has been abolished, Zera Yacob is considered a pretender.The Invisible Man 20:10, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
The Crown Prince has never once claimed to occupy the throne or to be the Emperor in any way, therefore he is NOT considered a 'pretender' to the throne by any definition. All references to 'pretender' are once again being removed. As for the abolition, the legality of this act rests on whether or not one concedes the Derg the legal authority to do so. Til Eulenspiegel 16:49, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
A pretender is a claimant to a throne, whether it still exists or has another occupant. In this case the throne of Ethiopia is a real throne, currently unoccupied and without de facto legal status. Whether it was legally abolished or not is academic. (talk) 02:25, 2 November 2012 (UTC)


  • A Pretender is a claimant to an abolished throne or to a throne already occupied by somebody else. The English word pretend comes from the French word prétendre, meaning "to put forward, to profess or claim". The term pretender is also applied to those persons on whose behalf a claim to a throne is advanced, regardless of whether that person himself actually makes an active claim. Bnguyen 06:31, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
In that case, you need a Reliable Source demonstrating that any claim to a throne has been advanced "on his behalf", and by whom. Until then, it's OR. I have not heard of a single faction anywhere that pretends him or claims him to be king or Emperor of anything at this time. Til Eulenspiegel 11:59, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Pretender is used in both a broader and narrower sense than this. Narrower, because persons who incarnate a dynastic tradition never describe themselves as pretenders -- a term that is often also avoided by monarchists, who generally prefer claimant. In the broader sense, pretender is used not only by those who claim a throne, or whose adherents claim it for him/her, but the term (along with claimant) is also used to refer to the person who would legally occupy the throne if it had not been abolished. It is in that sense that most persons are listed at Pretender since most do not actually claim a throne, nor is there a political party that does so for them. For instance, the husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, Ernst August V, Prince of Hanover certainly does not actively "pretend" to the throne of a kingdom (Hannover) that ceased to exist nearly 150 years ago. In that sense, Constantine II of Greece, Michael I of Romania, and Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia are all broadly referred to (in Wikipedia and elsewhere) as "pretenders", even though none of them any longer actively asserts a hereditary right to reign (unlike, e.g. "King" Leka of Albania). Rather, each of them represents and acts as custodian of a historical dynastic legacy and acts in the capacity of Head of House for the deposed royal family and its court-in-exile.
Also, as pointed out above, there is a rival of a different branch who claims to rightfully incarnate Ethiopia's imperial tradition: Gima Yohannes Iyasu is also a descendant of Emperor Iyasu V and the Royal House of Shewa. Therefore, Zere Yacob qualifies as a pretender by that definition as well: "In brief, a claimant possesses a recognized legitimate dynastic right to the crown should the previous royal house be restored; a pretender is a claimant whose just title to the throne may be disputed by reason of rival claims by another of the same royal house.", Walter J.P. Curley, Jr., Monarchs-in-Waiting, 1973, p. 4, ISBN 0-396-06840-5. Note, that it is reference to the dynastic right of succession under the superceded monarchical law -- not assertion of a current claim by or for anyone -- that defines a pretender.
Finally, a pretender is a monarch's descendant who asserts the authority to exercise prerogatives reserved to his reigning ancestor under the monarchy, such as issuance of declarations on behalf of the dynasty, appointments to court positions or titles, authorization of marriages of members of the dynasty, etc. "As compared to [reigning] sovereigns favored by fate, how many exiles claim their rights, personally or through the voices of their descendants; more than a dozen of those whose dynasties survive and whose heads are sometimes endowed with rare gifts. These 'pretenders' are the subject of the work you are about to read." (En regard de ces [regnants] souverains favorisés par le sort, combien d'exilès revendiquent leurs droits soit eux-mêmes, soit par la bouche de leurs descendants; plus d'une douzaine dont les dynasties demeurent vivantes et dont les chefs sont parfois doués des plus rares qualités. Ces "prétendants" sont le sujet de l'ouvrage que vous allez lire) Valynseele, Joseph, Les Prétendants aux Trones d'Europe, 1967, p. 11. Also see Crown Council Proclamation Lethiere 06:19, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


Is there any reason the article name shouldn't simply be "Zera Yacob Amha Selassie" instead of "Zera Yacob Amha Selassie, Crown Prince of Ethiopia"? -- Gyrofrog (talk) 22:44, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

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Loop through redirection[edit]

There is no article about Princess Lideta Zera Yacob. Instead the "link" to her page redirects back to this article about Zera Yacob Amha Selassie. :-( — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scribe asd (talkcontribs) 20:46, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. I've removed the link: the Princess Lideta Zera Yacob article (old version) consisted of only two sentences before someone redirected it to this one. It also lacked any sources – see WP:BLP. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 18:52, 31 October 2013 (UTC)