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Regent of Abyssinia in London
Regent of Abyssinia in London

Regent of Abyssinia in London 1924


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Regent of Abyssinia in London 1924

1 mins United Kingdom

A group of Ethiopian state dignitaries appear in their ceremonial best for the Topical Budget cameras in this short newsreel, taken at the time of future emperor Haile Selassie's diplomatic and cultural tour of European and Middle Eastern capitals. Despite what the title card implies, Haile Selassie himself doesn't appear to feature in this brief film.

As regent of Abyssinia, His Imperial Highness Ras Tafari Makonnen - later Haile Selassie - was greeted by George, Duke of York (the future King George VI). Following an appointment with Prime Minister Ramsey McDonald, he was made an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. This trip was part of a tour which took in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Geneva, and Athens. With the aim of modernising parts of his country's economy, he visited factories and hospitals throughout Europe, remarking: "We need European progress only because we are surrounded by it. That is at once a benefit and a misfortune." While in London, he presented two lions to the royal family in exchange for the return of the imperial crown of Tewodros II, which the British had stolen from Ethiopia in 1868.

S.I. Martin




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