Ethiopian Royal Tiaras and Crowns

Ethiopia was a monarchy with over 2000 years of royal history until its abolition in 1975 after the derg took over leading to a gruseome end of the monarchy. Crowns and tiaras are seen as symbols of royalty and Ethiopia was no different. It has one of the most uniquely made crowns in the world. Many of the crowns have been preserved in Museums but the Tiaras have not been seen since the fall of the monarchy. Traditinally most kings and lords wore lion mane crowns.

Each Empeor was crowned with a new crown made

Emperor Menelik II Crown

Emperor Menelik II ruled Ethiopia from 1889 to his death in 1913. He is famous for defending Ethipoia against colonialism making Ethiopia one of the two countires not colonised in Africa

Empress Taytu Crown

Empress Taytu Betul was the third wife of Emperor Menelik II, He was her fifth husband. She died in 1917

Empress Zewditu Crowns and Tiaras

Empress Zewditu would succeed her father as the first female Emperor of Ethiopia from 1917 to 1930. She has been photographed with various crowns and tiaras.

Notice Her Crown looks similar to what the Museum labsls as Haile Selassie’s crown

Emperor Haile Selassie Crown

Emperor Haile Selassie born Ras Tafari Makonnen was the most modern famous Monarch of Ethiopia. He modernized Ethiopia until his fall in 1974. He was under house arrest until his mysterious death in 1975.

He was crowned in 1930 to succeed his cousin Empress Zewditu

Empress Menen Crowns and Tiaras

Empress Menen was the wife of Empeor Hile Selassie. She served as Empress from 1930 until her death in 1962. She wore various crowns and tiaras during her life

Princess Tenagneworq Haile Selassie Tiara

Princess Tenagnework Haile Sellasie was the eldest child of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Empress Menen. Her daughters were married to princes of other royal houses of ethiopia like Tigray and Lega Namqate. After her mthers death in 1962, she became the leading royal lady of court until 1974. She alongside other princesses were arrested by the derg and imprioned for 14 years until their release in 1988. She was allowed to see her father one last time under house arrest before his death in 1975. She moved to USA close to her brother and died in 2003 aged 91

She was present in all state banquets and events rocking a shiny Tiara. Its fate is unknown

Crown Princess Medferiashworq Tiara

Crown Princess Medferiashwork Abebe was the wife of Crown prince Asfaw Wossen of Ethiopia, eldest son of Empeor Haile Selassie. Later in exile they became Emperor in exile Amha Sellasie and Empress in exile Medferiashwork. She is only photographed wearing a tiara once during Queen Elizabeth state visit in 1965

Princess Sara Gizaw, Duchess of Harar Tiaras

Princess Sara Gizaw, Duchess of Harar was the wife of late Prince Makonnen, Duke of Harara, second son of Empeoro Haile Selassie. She joined the Empeoror to many state visists like Sweden. She was imprisoned by the derg from 1974 to 1988 after the fall of the monarchy. She died in 2019

As reported by Tiara Mania, the tiara she wore pictured with Archduchess Rosemary of Austria-Tuscany most likely at Margrave Maximilian and Margravine Valerie of Baden’s wedding ball in 1966, The tiara was sold at Sotheby’s in 2008 for 56,250 CHF.  It is convertible to a necklace and can be separated into nine parts including a pair of earrings and two dress clips.

She also wore it in 1971 in 2500 celebrations of Persia

Princess Yeshashework Yilma Pearl Diamond Tiara

She was the niece of Emperor Haile Selassie and was elevated to an imperial princess in 1930. She was cloe to the Emperors daughters particullrly Princess Tenagnework. She was imprioned from 1974 to 1982 when the other princesses egged for he release due to her ill health. She died  few months later and was buried at the church at her former estate at Reppi, just south of Addis Ababa.

Below are her photos during the state visit of the Queen Juliana, Prince Bernard and Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands to Ethiopia in 1969

King of Kaffa Kingdom Crown

Kingdom of Kaffa/Kafa, the birthplace of Coffee was akingdom that existed from 1390 aupto 1897 when it was annexed into the Ethiopian Eperor by Emperoro Menelik II. Its last King Tato Gaki Sherocho was arrested, brought to Menelik in silver chains forged from the looted treasury of Kaffa, imprisoned and died in 1919. During the raid, his royal silver crown was taken to Switzerland by Empeoro Menelik II for fear that the crown which was a symbol of power to the kingdom would encourage his descendants to revolt. Girma kidane Kesto, grandson of last Kafa king Gaki Sherocho wearing his father’s crown and robe.

Photos; Elias Gebre

Other Palace artefacts

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