The 90th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I
As we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Coronation H.I.M Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen I. It was on this day in history November 2nd, 1930 where Ras Tafari Makonnen 38 years old at the time.
The 225th descendant of King Solomon was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia, receiving the title of Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah. More than 72 nations converged on Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the coronation.
About His Majesty Coronation as Emperor
In addition, on the 17th Maskaram 1909 (= 27th september 1916) RasTafari was chosen heir to the throne and regent. Although, with Queen Zawditu occupying the throne; and when RasTafari had patiently carried out the work of government.
After fourteen years in His of regent plenipotentiary, Queen Zawditu died on 24th Magabit 1922 (= 2nd April 1930). Consequently, on the next day RasTafari was proclaimed Emperor and assumed the throne.
Now that Ethiopia had concluded treaties of commerce and friendship with twelve foreign governments. Had entered the League of Nations, and had established firm friendly relations, that His Majesty and the council.
Were convinced that it was proper-in accordance with the practice of the most civilized governments. In the case of their coronations-to invite to His coronation the countries which had set up legations and consulates in Ethiopia.
However, as it would require a long time to despatch the letters of invitation and to await the arrival of the delegates. As well as to make all the necessary preparations for the coronation, His Majesty arranged for the ceremony to be postponed seven months.
Never in the history of Ethiopia had this been done. Before the treaties of commerce and friendship with governments, usually the death of an Emperor would go carefully unannounced and the heir being crowned immediately the next day.
Letters of invitation written and despatched
Although, as mentioned above, since in earlier times the coronation was held on the very day the son and heir ascended the throne. Usually with no time to invite the princes and nobles of each region.
However, being postponed seven months the coronation of RasTafari, letters of invitations were sent all over Ethiopia. To princes, nobles and all the headmen, the priors of monasteries and the deans of cathedrals.
Were all invited to participate in His joy, along with the King of England, King of Italy, Emperor of Japan. King of the Belgians, King of Sweden, Queen of Holland, King of Egypt, President of the French Republic.
The President of the United States of America, ‘president of the German Republic, President of the Turkish Republic, President of the Greek Republic.
Imperial Apparel worn
The imperial vestments, the crown and the orb, the imperial sceptre and the sword, the ring and all similar things were specially made of gold and diamonds.
Formerly the only distinctive mark of honour for princes had been their golden headgear. But it was arranged by HIM that the golden headgear should be for Rases. Who had been appointed by virtue of hard work and services.
While the crown prince and for princes of royal descent He had made a pearl studded headgear (coronet). Smaller than a crown but excelling the golden headgear in size and in beauty of workmanship.
For the ladies of the His Majesty family and the wives of princes golden diadems, smaller than those for princes, and corresponding to their rank.
For the military commanders (i.e Dejazmatches) vestments and headgear were made lions’ manes. That were interlaced with gold and embroidered with velvet.
Furthermore, gold medals were manufactured in large quantities on which the effigies of HIM and Empress Menen were engraved together. Which were to be given as souvenirs to foreign guests coming to His coronation.
Whether by invitations or of their own volition, as well as to notables and important persons within the country.
The Crowning of His and Her Imperial Majesty
On the eve of the coronation, the Bajerond (treasurer) placed the Imperial state vestments and the crown. The orb, the Imperial sceptre, the sword and the diamond ring.
As well as the Empress’s state robes and crown and diamond ring on a chariot and took it in a great parade to the royal church of St. George. Where he consigned it to the Archbishop and where it remained all night to be prayed over.
RasTafari and the Empress, their family and princes and nobles went to the church at midnight. It had been arranged that His Majesty guests should only arrive at seven o’ clock in the morning.
At which point, they took their seats which had been prepared on the right and on the left of the throne, according to their rank. The seating order provided that Ethiopian princes and nobles should be interspersed among foreign guests.
Before the ser’ ata negs (the royal ritual) began, the Archbishop, Abuna Qerillos, approached with a gospel bound in gold and asked them to complete the words of the oath.
After they had completed the swearing-in ceremony, affirming their willingness to maintain all that is laid down above, they appended their signature thereto.
After the Archbishop and bishops had completed the service, performing readings and prayers. With the choir singing, the Archbishop approached and anointed HIM with the oil of kingship and placed the Imperial triple crown on HIM.
Coronation service of the Queen
Subsequently the coronation service of the Empress commenced. The procedure for the enthronement of the Empress is today different from what is used to be previously. According to our historical practice,
The Empress was not anointed with oil of kingship on the grounds that she did not share in rulership with the Emperor. The crown, being merely symbolic, was very small.
It was in the palace that the Emperor placed the crown on her head and not in church. This occurred on the third day, for it was not permitted for her to be crowned on the same day as the Emperor.
But now it was determined after consultation, and was accordingly carried out. That, except for the regal anointing, the Archbishop should place the crown on her. Put the diamond ring on her finger and that this should be on the same day jointly with the coronation of the Emperor.
After the ceremony for the Emperor, the Empress entered with her attendants to take her throne. The following reading from the Psalms of David (Psalms 45:9-11) was made as a prayer.“Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.”
Source: Autobiography of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I