Last month, an American woman became an African princess when she tied the knot into the royal family of Ethiopia – after meeting her future husband at a modern day ‘ball’.
Ariana Austin, 33, married 35-year-old lawyer Joel Makonnen, a great-grandson of Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, on September 9 in Maryland.
Born in Rome by his exiled parents Prince David Makonnen and Princess Adey Imru Makonnen, Mr. Makonnen is part of a Solomonic dynasty whose reign ended in 1974. That was the year when a civil war broke out in Ethiopia after Haile Selassie, the 225th emperor of Ethiopia, was deposed by a Marxist Derg military coup. Unfortunately Mr. Makonnens father passed away in 1989 of circulatory failure though many believe that he might have been murdered.
He talked about weighty things as a young man, Ms. Austin said. He mentioned the revolution. Things that sound heavy for someone who was 23.
It was a union of two heritages when this twosome tied the knot on 9 September in a lavish Ethiopian Orthodox Christian wedding with 13 priests, two crowns and a pair of capes. Austins father walked her down the aisle, a custom not usually observed in that church, the report noted.
The magnificent reception came complete with a candy table, a photo booth, and Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, as well as Bruno Mars hits. More so, the blend of these two cultures was seen in the spread of Ethiopian foods and the Guyanese black cake that most of the guests took home. It is reported that when the dancing went low, the two love birds were busy planning on how they were going to move together in Washington as they lived separately prior to their wedding.
If the wedding didnt take so much time, Mr. Makonnen joked, we would have moved out already.
Twelve years ago, this lucky bride of Guyanese descent, met a man, just like the Cinderella fairy tale, on the dance floor of a Washington D.C nightclub and little did she know that she was dancing with a prince Joel Makonnen, the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. The last time the social web went this viral on a royal wedding was during Prince William and Kate Middletons nuptial, which took place on Friday 29th April 2011. Their love story too resembled a fairy tale being that Kate caught the eye of her prince charming William during their campus days. In Kenya too the cultural wedding of the presidents son, Jomo, caught our attention as everybody desired to know just who the lucky maiden was despite it being a hush hush affair.
For Miss Austin, marriage came last after pursuing a masters degree at Harvard, finding a job and occasionally finding time for each other, typically defining the modern day social life where even prince hood is left aside in pursuit of greater things.
I think we both had this feeling that this was our destiny, Ms. Austin said. But I felt like I had things that I had to do.
Mr. Makonnen too was finishing up his law degree at Howard University, when he took the relationship a notch higher by buying a princess-cut diamond ring for her real time princess.
We wish this African royal couple a happy ever after.