American Harvard Graduate Is Now Princess Of Ethiopia
October 24, 2017
It can be said that it is probably every little girl’s dream to someday meet her prince charming and eventually become a princess herself. Unbelievably, such is the case for Ariana Austin who had just recently wed Prince Yoel Makonnen of Ethiopia.
Prince Yoel—great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, had met Ariana—now 33-year-old Harvard graduate, writer, and philanthropist, at a nightclub in Washington, D.C. during his last few years finishing law at Howard University. Ariana immediately fell smitten to Yoel’s worldliness and charm, who consciously kept his royal background a secret until months later.
The couple—whose friends have claimed them to look like commercial models straight out of a Bombay Sapphire ad, has quite a colorful lineage. Yoel, son to Prince David Makonnen and Princess Adey Imru Makonnen, is part of the Solomonic dynasty, and has a family history that dates all the way back to biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Ariana on the other hand, is of African-American and Guyanese descent, whose grandmother served as the lord mayor of Georgetown, capital of Guyana.
An example of when “Old World aristocracy meets New World charm.”, the couple’s royal wedding was anything but simple. Held at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Maryland, Prince Yoel remembers the ceremony as “a wholly spiritual and uplifting moment.”
As expected, the most distinguished of guests were in attendance, including members of the Ethiopian royal family such as: HIH Prince Paul Makonnen, HIH Prince Phillip Makonnen, HIH Prince Beedemariam Makonnen, HIH Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, and HIH Princess Mary Asfaw Wossen.
Other notable guests who had graced the event with their presence are Dr. Johnnetta Cole, recently retired director of the National Museum of African Art; Sharon Pratt, former mayor of Washington, D.C.; His Excellency Deep Ford, ambassador of Guyana to the United Nations organizations in Geneva; and His Excellency Riyad Insanally, Guyanese ambassador to the United States.