Wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson

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The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson was held on 23 July 1986, at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

Prince Andrew, the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson and his first wife Susan Wright, first met when they were children, but had not been romantically involved until they met again at a party at Floors Castle in 1985. They began their relationship that very same year, after a party held at Windsor Castle in honour of the Royal Ascot races. Diana, Princess of Wales, Andrew’s sister-in-law, played a hand in matchmaking the couple.
Andrew proposed to Sarah on 19 February 1986, his twenty-sixth birthday. Their engagement was announced on 17 March 1986. Andrew presented Sarah with a Garrard engagement ring made from sketches he had made. The ring has a Burma ruby surrounded by ten drop-diamonds. The mounting was eighteen-carat white and yellow gold. Andrew’s bachelor party was held at Aubrey House in Holland Park. It was attended by Prince Charles, Billy Connolly, David Frost and Elton John.

Four months after announcing their engagement, Andrew and Sarah married on 23 July 1986, at Westminster Abbey in London. Sarah made her way with her father Ronald from Clarence House in the Glass Coach, arriving at the church at 11:30. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted at the 45-minute wedding ceremony. As the couple exchanged vows, Sarah mistakenly repeated Andrew’s middle name, Christian; five years earlier, Diana, Princess of Wales, made a similar mistake by reversing the order of Prince Charles’s names.
Both Andrew’s brothers participated in the wedding ceremony; Prince Edward was his best man, and Prince Charles read a lesson during the service. The bridesmaids and page boys included Princess Anne’s children Peter and Zara Phillips, and Prince Charles’s eldest son Prince William.
The Duke and Duchess of York left Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace in an open-top 1902 State Landau. Around 100,000 people gathered to witness the Andrew and Sarah’s first kiss as man and wife on the balcony of the palace. After a traditional wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace, the married couple and some 300 guests moved to a party at Claridge’s hotel.

 

#OTD 23 July 1892 Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia was born

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Haile Selassie I (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, was Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and emperor from 1930 to 1974. He also served as Chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity from 25 May 1963 to 17 July 1964 and 5 November 1966 to 11 September 1967. He was a member of the Solomonic Dynasty.
At the League of Nations in 1936, the emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people during the Second Italo–Ethiopian War. His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the League of Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring. His suppression of rebellions among the landed aristocracy (the mesafint), which consistently opposed his reforms, as well as what some critics perceived to be Ethiopia’s failure to modernize rapidly enough, earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians. His regime was also criticized by human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, as autocratic and illiberal.
Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated at between two and four million, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate. Beginning in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life. He is a defining figure in Ethiopian history.

Haile Selassie was known as a child as Lij Tafari Makonnen. Lij is translated as “child”, and serves to indicate that a youth is of noble blood. His given name, Tafari, means “one who is respected or feared”. Like most Ethiopians, his personal name Tafari is followed by that of his father Makonnen and rarely that of his grandfather Woldemikael. His Ge’ez name Haile Selassie was given to him at his infant baptism and adopted again as part of his regnal name in 1930.
As Governor of Harer, he became known as Ras Teferi Makonnen About this sound listen (help·info). Ras is translated as “head” and is a rank of nobility equivalent to Duke; though it is often rendered in translation as “prince”. In 1916, Empress Zewditu I appointed him to the position of Balemulu Silt’an Enderase (Regent Plenipotentiary). In 1928, she granted him the throne of Shoa, elevating his title to Negus or “King”.

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On 2 November 1930, after the death of Empress Zewditu, Ras Tafari was crowned Negusa Nagast, literally King of Kings, rendered in English as “Emperor”. Upon his ascension, he took as his regnal name Haile Selassie I. Haile means in Ge’ez “Power of” and Selassie means trinity—therefore Haile Selassie roughly translates to “Power of the Trinity”. Haile Selassie’s full title in office was “By the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God”. This title reflects Ethiopian dynastic traditions, which hold that all monarchs must trace their lineage to Menelik I, who was the offspring of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
To Ethiopians, Haile Selassie has been known by many names, including Janhoy, Talaqu Meri, and Abba Tekel. The Rastafari movement employs many of these appellations, also referring to him as Jah, Jah Jah, Jah Rastafari, and HIM (the abbreviation of “His Imperial Majesty”)

Haile Selassie’s royal line (through his father’s mother) originated from the Amhara people, He was born on 23 July 1892, in the village of Ejersa Goro, in the Harar province of Ethiopia. His mother was Woizero (“Lady”) Yeshimebet Ali Abba Jifar, daughter of the renowned Oromo ruler of Wollo province Dejazmach Ali Abba Jifar. His maternal grandmother was of Gurage heritage. Tafari’s father was Ras Makonnen Woldemikael Gudessa, the governor of Harar. Ras Makonnen served as a general in the First Italo–Ethiopian War, playing a key role at the Battle of Adwa; he too was paternally Oromo but maternally Amhara. Haile Selassie was thus able to ascend to the imperial throne through his paternal grandmother, Woizero Tenagnework Sahle Selassie, who was an aunt of Emperor Menelik II and daughter of Negus Sahle Selassie of Shewa. As such, Haile Selassie claimed direct descent from Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon of ancient Israel.
Ras Makonnen arranged for Tafari as well as his first cousin, Imru Haile Selassie, to receive instruction in Harar from Abba Samuel Wolde Kahin, an Ethiopian capuchin monk, and from Dr. Vitalien, a surgeon from Guadeloupe. Tafari was named Dejazmach (literally “commander of the gate”, roughly equivalent to “count”) at the age of 13, on 1 November 1905. Shortly thereafter, his father Ras Makonnen died at Kulibi, in 1906.

Tafari assumed the titular governorship of Selale in 1906, a realm of marginal importance, but one that enabled him to continue his studies. In 1907, he was appointed governor over part of the province of Sidamo. It is alleged that during his late teens, Haile Selassie was married to Woizero Altayech, and that from this union, his daughter Princess Romanework was born.
Following the death of his brother Yelma in 1907, the governorate of Harar was left vacant, and its administration was left to Menelik’s loyal general, Dejazmach Balcha Safo. Balcha Safo’s administration of Harar was ineffective, and so during the last illness of Menelik II, and the brief reign of Empress Taitu Bitul, Tafari was made governor of Harar in 1910[30] or 1911.
On 3 August, he married Menen Asfaw of Ambassel, niece of heir to the throne Lij Iyasu.

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The extent to which Tafari Makonnen contributed to the movement that would come to depose Iyasu V has been discussed extensively, particularly in Haile Selassie’s own detailed account of the matter. Iyasu V, or Lij Iyasu, was the designated but uncrowned emperor of Ethiopia from 1913 to 1916. Iyasu’s reputation for scandalous behavior and a disrespectful attitude towards the nobles at the court of his grandfather, Menelik II, damaged his reputation. Iyasu’s flirtation with Islam was considered treasonous among the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian leadership of the empire. On 27 September 1916, Iyasu was deposed.
Contributing to the movement that deposed Iyasu were conservatives such as Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis, Menelik II’s longtime Minister of War. The movement to depose Iyasu preferred Tafari, as he attracted support from both progressive and conservative factions. Ultimately, Iyasu was deposed on the grounds of conversion to Islam. In his place, the daughter of Menelik II (the aunt of Iyasu) was named Empress Zewditu, while Tafari was elevated to the rank of Ras and was made heir apparent and Crown Prince. In the power arrangement that followed, Tafari accepted the role of Regent Plenipotentiary (Balemulu ‘Inderase) and became the de facto ruler of the Ethiopian Empire (Mangista Ityop’p’ya). Zewditu would govern while Tafari would administer.

While Iyasu had been deposed on 27 September 1916, on 8 October he managed to escape into the Ogaden Desert and his father, Negus Mikael of Wollo, had time to come to his aid. On 27 October, Negus Mikael and his army met an army under Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis loyal to Zewditu and Tafari. During the Battle of Segale, Negus Mikael was defeated and captured. Any chance that Iyasu would regain the throne was ended and he went into hiding. On 11 January 1921, after avoiding capture for about five years, Iyasu was taken into custody by Gugsa Araya Selassie.
On 11 February 1917, the coronation for Zewditu took place. She pledged to rule justly through her Regent, Tafari. While Tafari was the more visible of the two, Zewditu was far from an honorary ruler. Her position required that she arbitrate the claims of competing factions. In other words, she had the last word. Tafari carried the burden of daily administration but, because his position was relatively weak, this was often an exercise in futility for him. Initially his personal army was poorly equipped, his finances were limited, and he had little leverage to withstand the combined influence of the Empress, the Minister of War, or the provincial governors.
During his Regency, the new Crown Prince developed the policy of cautious modernization initiated by Menelik II. Also, during this time, he survived the 1918 flu pandemic, having come down with the illness. He secured Ethiopia’s admission to the League of Nations in 1923 by promising to eradicate slavery; each emperor since Tewodros II had issued proclamations to halt slavery, but without effect: the internationally scorned practice persisted well into Haile Selassie’s reign with an estimated 2 million slaves in Ethiopia in the early 1930s.

In 1924, Ras Tafari toured Europe and the Middle East visiting Jerusalem, Alexandria, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Geneva, and Athens. With him on his tour was a group that included Ras Seyum Mangasha of western Tigray Province; Ras Hailu Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam province; Ras Mulugeta Yeggazu of Illubabor Province; Ras Makonnen Endelkachew; and Blattengeta Heruy Welde Sellase. The primary goal of the trip to Europe was for Ethiopia to gain access to the sea. In Paris, Tafari was to find out from the French Foreign Ministry (Quai d’Orsay) that this goal would not be realized. However, failing this, he and his retinue inspected schools, hospitals, factories, and churches. Although patterning many reforms after European models, Tafari remained wary of European pressure. To guard against economic imperialism, Tafari required that all enterprises have at least partial local ownership. Of his modernization campaign, he remarked, “We need European progress only because we are surrounded by it. That is at once a benefit and a misfortune.”
Throughout Ras Tafari’s travels in Europe, the Levant, and Egypt, he and his entourage were greeted with enthusiasm and fascination. He was accompanied by Seyum Mangasha and Hailu Tekle Haymanot who, like Tafari, were sons of generals who contributed to the victorious war against Italy a quarter century earlier at the Battle of Adwa. Another member of his entourage, Mulugeta Yeggazu, actually fought at Adwa as a young man. The “Oriental Dignity” of the Ethiopians and their “rich, picturesque court dress” were sensationalized in the media; among his entourage he even included a pride of lions, which he distributed as gifts to President Alexandre Millerand and Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré of France, to King George V of the United Kingdom, and to the Zoological Garden (Jardin Zoologique) of Paris. As one historian noted, “Rarely can a tour have inspired so many anecdotes”. In return for two lions, the United Kingdom presented Ras Tafari with the imperial crown of Emperor Tewodros II for its safe return to Empress Zewditu. The crown had been taken by Robert Napier during the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia.
In this period, the Crown Prince visited the Armenian monastery of Jerusalem. There, he adopted 40 Armenian orphans who had lost their parents in Ottoman massacres. Ras Tafari arranged for the musical education of the youths, and they came to form the imperial brass band.

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In 1928, the authority of Ras Tafari Makonnen was challenged when Dejazmatch Balcha Safo went to Addis Ababa with a sizeable armed force. When Tafari consolidated his hold over the provinces, many of Menelik’s appointees refused to abide by the new regulations. Balcha Safo, the governor (Shum) of coffee-rich Sidamo Province, was particularly troublesome. The revenues he remitted to the central government did not reflect the accrued profits and Tafari recalled him to Addis Ababa. The old man came in high dudgeon and, insultingly, with a large army. The Dejazmatch paid homage to Empress Zewditu, but snubbed Ras Tafari. On 18 February, while Balcha Safo and his personal bodyguard were in Addis Ababa, Ras Tafari had Ras Kassa Haile Darge buy off his army and arranged to have him displaced as the Shum of Sidamo Province by Birru Wolde Gabriel who himself was replaced by Desta Damtew.

Even so, the gesture of Balcha Safo empowered Empress Zewditu politically and she attempted to have Tafari tried for treason. He was tried for his benevolent dealings with Italy including a 20-year peace accord which was signed on 2 August . In September, a group of palace reactionaries including some courtiers of the empress, made a final bid to get rid of Tafari. The attempted coup d’état was tragic in its origins and comic in its end. When confronted by Tafari and a company of his troops, the ringleaders of the coup took refuge on the palace grounds in Menelik’s mausoleum. Tafari and his men surrounded them only to be surrounded themselves by the personal guard of Zewditu. More of Tafari’s khaki clad soldiers arrived and, with superiority of arms, decided the outcome in his favor. Popular support, as well as the support of the police, remained with Tafari. Ultimately, the Empress relented and, on 7 October 1928, she crowned Tafari as Negus (Amharic: “King”).
The crowning of Tafari as King was controversial. He occupied the same territory as the empress rather than going off to a regional kingdom of the empire. Two monarchs, even with one being the vassal and the other the emperor (in this case empress), had never occupied the same location as their seat in Ethiopian history. Conservatives agitated to redress this perceived insult to the dignity of the crown, leading to the rebellion of Ras Gugsa Welle. Gugsa Welle was the husband of the empress and the Shum of Begemder Province. In early 1930, he raised an army and marched it from his governorate at Gondar towards Addis Ababa. On 31 March 1930, Gugsa Welle was met by forces loyal to Negus Tafari and was defeated at the Battle of Anchem. Gugsa Welle was killed in action. News of Gugsa Welle’s defeat and death had hardly spread through Addis Ababa when the empress died suddenly on 2 April 1930. Although it was long rumored that the empress was poisoned upon the defeat of her husband, or alternately that she died from shock upon hearing of the death of her estranged yet beloved husband, it has since been documented that the Empress succumbed to a flu-like fever and complications from diabetes.
With the passing of Zewditu, Tafari himself rose to emperor and was proclaimed Neguse Negest ze-‘Ityopp’ya, “King of Kings of Ethiopia”. He was crowned on 2 November 1930, at Addis Ababa’s Cathedral of St. George. The coronation was by all accounts “a most splendid affair”, and it was attended by royals and dignitaries from all over the world. Among those in attendance were George V’s son the Duke of Gloucester, Marshal Franchet d’Esperey of France, and the Prince of Udine representing the King of Italy. Emissaries from the United States, Egypt, Turkey, Sweden, Belgium, and Japan were also present. British author Evelyn Waugh was also present, penning a contemporary report on the event, and American travel lecturer Burton Holmes shot the only known film footage of the event. One newspaper report suggested that the celebration may have incurred a cost in excess of $3,000,000. Many of those in attendance received lavish gifts; in one instance, the Christian emperor even sent a gold-encased Bible to an American bishop who had not attended the coronation, but who had dedicated a prayer to the emperor on the day of the coronation.
Haile Selassie introduced Ethiopia’s first written constitution on 16 July 1931, providing for a bicameral legislature. The constitution kept power in the hands of the nobility, but it did establish democratic standards among the nobility, envisaging a transition to democratic rule: it would prevail “until the people are in a position to elect themselves.” The constitution limited the succession to the throne to the descendants of Haile Selassie, a point that met with the disapprobation of other dynastic princes, including the princes of Tigrai and even the emperor’s loyal cousin, Ras Kassa Haile Darge.
In 1932, the Sultanate of Jimma was formally absorbed into Ethiopia following the death of Sultan Abba Jifar II of Jimma.

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Ethiopia became the target of renewed Italian imperialist designs in the 1930s. Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime was keen to avenge the military defeats Italy had suffered to Ethiopia in the First Italo-Abyssinian War, and to efface the failed attempt by “liberal” Italy to conquer the country, as epitomised by the defeat at Adwa. A conquest of Ethiopia could also empower the cause of fascism and embolden its rhetoric of empire. Ethiopia would also provide a bridge between Italy’s Eritrean and Italian Somaliland possessions. Ethiopia’s position in the League of Nations did not dissuade the Italians from invading in 1935; the “collective security” envisaged by the League proved useless, and a scandal erupted when the Hoare-Laval Pact revealed that Ethiopia’s League allies were scheming to appease Italy.

Compared to the Ethiopians, the Italians had an advanced, modern military which included a large air force. The Italians would also come to employ chemical weapons extensively throughout the conflict, even targeting Red Cross field hospitals in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Starting in early October 1935, the Italians invaded Ethiopia. But, by November, the pace of invasion had slowed appreciably and Haile Selassie’s northern armies were able to launch what was known as the “Christmas Offensive”. During this offensive, the Italians were forced back in places and put on the defensive. In early 1936, the First Battle of Tembien stopped the progress of the Ethiopian offensive and the Italians were ready to continue their offensive. Following the defeat and destruction of the northern Ethiopian armies at the Battle of Amba Aradam, the Second Battle of Tembien, and the Battle of Shire, Haile Selassie took the field with the last Ethiopian army on the northern front. On 31 March 1936, he launched a counterattack against the Italians himself at the Battle of Maychew in southern Tigray. The emperor’s army was defeated and retreated in disarray. As Haile Selassie’s army withdrew, the Italians attacked from the air along with rebellious Raya and Azebo tribesmen on the ground, who were armed and paid by the Italians.

Haile Selassie made a solitary pilgrimage to the churches at Lalibela, at considerable risk of capture, before returning to his capital. After a stormy session of the council of state, it was agreed that because Addis Ababa could not be defended, the government would relocate to the southern town of Gore, and that in the interest of preserving the Imperial house, the emperor’s wife Menen Asfaw and the rest of the imperial family should immediately depart for French Somaliland, and from there continue on to Jerusalem.

After further debate as to whether Haile Selassie should go to Gore or accompany his family into exile, it was agreed that he should leave Ethiopia with his family and present the case of Ethiopia to the League of Nations at Geneva. The decision was not unanimous and several participants, including the nobleman Blatta Tekle Wolde Hawariat, strenuously objected to the idea of an Ethiopian monarch fleeing before an invading force. Haile Selassie appointed his cousin Ras Imru Haile Selassie as Prince Regent in his absence, departing with his family for French Somaliland on 2 May 1936.
On 5 May, Marshal Pietro Badoglio led Italian troops into Addis Ababa, and Mussolini declared Ethiopia an Italian province. Victor Emanuel III was proclaimed as the new Emperor of Ethiopia. On the previous day, the Ethiopian exiles had left French Somaliland aboard the British cruiser HMS Enterprise. They were bound for Jerusalem in the British Mandate of Palestine, where the Ethiopian royal family maintained a residence. The Imperial family disembarked at Haifa and then went on to Jerusalem. Once there, Haile Selassie and his retinue prepared to make their case at Geneva. The choice of Jerusalem was highly symbolic, since the Solomonic Dynasty claimed descent from the House of David. Leaving the Holy Land, Haile Selassie and his entourage sailed aboard the British cruiser HMS Capetown for Gibraltar, where he stayed at the Rock Hotel. From Gibraltar, the exiles were transferred to an ordinary liner. By doing this, the government of the United Kingdom was spared the expense of a state reception.

Mussolini, upon invading Ethiopia, had promptly declared his own “Italian Empire”; because the League of Nations afforded Haile Selassie the opportunity to address the assembly, Italy even withdrew its League delegation, on 12 May 1936. It was in this context that Haile Selassie walked into the hall of the League of Nations, introduced by the President of the Assembly as “His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Ethiopia” (Sa Majesté Imperiale, l’Empereur d’Ethiopie). The introduction caused a great many Italian journalists in the galleries to erupt into jeering, heckling, and whistling. As it turned out, they had earlier been issued whistles by Mussolini’s son-in-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano. The Romanian delegate, Nicolae Titulescu, famously jumped to his feet in response and cried “Show the savages the door!”, and they were cleared out. Haile Selassie waited calmly for the hall to be cleared, and responded “majestically” with a speech sometimes considered among the most stirring of the 20th century.
Although fluent in French, the working language of the League, Haile Selassie chose to deliver his historic speech in his native Amharic. He asserted that, because his “confidence in the League was absolute”, his people were now being slaughtered. He pointed out that the same European states that found in Ethiopia’s favor at the League of Nations were refusing Ethiopia credit and matériel while aiding Italy, which was employing chemical weapons on military and civilian targets alike.

Haile Selassie spent his exile years (1936–41) in Bath, England, in Fairfield House, which he bought. The emperor and Kassa Haile Darge took morning walks together behind the high walls of the 14-room Georgian house. Haile Selassie’s favorite reading was “diplomatic history.” But most of his serious hours were occupied with the 90,000-word story of his life that he was laboriously writing in Amharic.
Prior to Fairfield House, he briefly stayed at Warne’s Hotel in Worthing and in Parkside, Wimbledon. A bust of Haile Selassie is in nearby Cannizaro Park to commemorate this time and is a popular place of pilgrimage for London’s Rastafari community. Haile Selassie stayed at the Abbey Hotel in Malvern in the 1930s and his granddaughters and daughters of court officials were educated at Clarendon School in North Malvern. During his time in Malvern he attended services at Holy Trinity Church, in Link Top. A blue plaque, commemorating his stay in Malvern, was unveiled on Saturday, 25 June 2011. As part of the ceremony, a delegation from the Rastafari movement gave a short address and a drum recital.
Haile Selassie’s activity in this period was focused on countering Italian propaganda as to the state of Ethiopian resistance and the legality of the occupation. He spoke out against the desecration of houses of worship and historical artifacts (including the theft of a 1,600-year-old imperial obelisk), and condemned the atrocities suffered by the Ethiopian civilian population. He continued to plead for League intervention and to voice his certainty that “God’s judgment will eventually visit the weak and the mighty alike”, though his attempts to gain support for the struggle against Italy were largely unsuccessful until Italy entered World War II on the German side in June 1940.
The emperor’s pleas for international support did take root in the United States, particularly among African-American organizations sympathetic to the Ethiopian cause. In 1937, Haile Selassie was to give a Christmas Day radio address to the American people to thank his supporters when his taxi was involved in a traffic accident, leaving him with a fractured knee. Rather than canceling the radio appearance, he proceeded in much pain to complete the address, in which he linked Christianity and goodwill with the Covenant of the League of Nations, and asserted that “War is not the only means to stop war”.

During this period, Haile Selassie suffered several personal tragedies. His two sons-in-law, Ras Desta Damtew and Dejazmach Beyene Merid, were both executed by the Italians. The emperor’s daughter, Princess Romanework, wife of Dejazmach Beyene Merid, was herself taken into captivity with her children, and she died in Italy in 1941. His daughter Tsehai died during childbirth shortly after the restoration in 1942.
After his return to Ethiopia, he donated Fairfield House to the city of Bath as a residence for the aged, until modified in the 1990s where it is now used as a day care centre. Advanced negotiations are progressing for a community group to run the House to preserve and develop the House.

British forces, which consisted primarily of Ethiopian-backed African and South African colonial troops under the “Gideon Force” of Colonel Orde Wingate, coordinated the military effort to liberate Ethiopia. The emperor himself issued several imperial proclamations in this period, demonstrating that, while authority was not divided up in any formal way, British military might and the emperor’s populist appeal could be joined in the concerted effort to liberate Ethiopia.
On 18 January 1941, during the East African Campaign, Haile Selassie crossed the border between Sudan and Ethiopia near the village of Um Iddla. The standard of the Lion of Judah was raised again. Two days later, he and a force of Ethiopian patriots joined Gideon Force which was already in Ethiopia and preparing the way. Italy was defeated by a force of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Nations, Free France, Free Belgium, and Ethiopian patriots.

On 27 August 1942, Haile Selassie abolished the legal basis of slavery throughout the empire and imposed severe penalties, including death, for slave trading. After World War II, Ethiopia became a charter member of the United Nations. In 1948, the Ogaden, a region disputed with Somalia, was granted to Ethiopia. On 2 December 1950, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 390 (V), establishing the federation of Eritrea (the former Italian colony) into Ethiopia. Eritrea was to have its own constitution, which would provide for ethnic, linguistic, and cultural balance, while Ethiopia was to manage its finances, defense, and foreign policy.
Despite his centralization policies that had been made before World War II, Haile Selassie still found himself unable to push for all the programs he wanted. In 1942, he attempted to institute a progressive tax scheme, but this failed due to opposition from the nobility, and only a flat tax was passed; in 1951, he agreed to reduce this as well. Ethiopia was still “semi-feudal”, and the emperor’s attempts to alter its social and economic form by reforming its modes of taxation met with resistance from the nobility and clergy, which were eager to resume their privileges in the postwar era. Where Haile Selassie actually did succeed in effecting new land taxes, the burdens were often passed by the landowners to the peasants. Despite his wishes, the tax burden remained primarily on the peasants.
Between 1941 and 1959, Haile Selassie worked to establish the autocephaly of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church had been headed by the abuna, a bishop who answered to the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. In 1942 and 1945 Haile Selassie applied to the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church to establish the independence of Ethiopian bishops, and when his appeals were denied he threatened to sever relations with the Coptic Church of Alexandria. Finally, in 1959, Pope Kyrillos VI elevated the Abuna to Patriarch-Catholicos. The Ethiopian Church remained affiliated with the Alexandrian Church. In addition to these efforts, Haile Selassie changed the Ethiopian church-state relationship by introducing taxation of church lands, and by restricting the legal privileges of the clergy, who had formerly been tried in their own courts for civil offenses.
In keeping with the principle of collective security, for which he was an outspoken proponent, he sent a contingent under General Mulugueta Bulli, known as the Kagnew Battalion, to take part in the Korean War by supporting the United Nations Command. It was attached to the American 7th Infantry Division, and fought in a number of engagements including the Battle of Pork Chop Hill.

On 27 August 1942, Haile Selassie abolished the legal basis of slavery throughout the empire and imposed severe penalties, including death, for slave trading. After World War II, Ethiopia became a charter member of the United Nations. In 1948, the Ogaden, a region disputed with Somalia, was granted to Ethiopia. On 2 December 1950, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 390 (V), establishing the federation of Eritrea (the former Italian colony) into Ethiopia. Eritrea was to have its own constitution, which would provide for ethnic, linguistic, and cultural balance, while Ethiopia was to manage its finances, defense, and foreign policy.
Despite his centralization policies that had been made before World War II, Haile Selassie still found himself unable to push for all the programs he wanted. In 1942, he attempted to institute a progressive tax scheme, but this failed due to opposition from the nobility, and only a flat tax was passed; in 1951, he agreed to reduce this as well. Ethiopia was still “semi-feudal”, and the emperor’s attempts to alter its social and economic form by reforming its modes of taxation met with resistance from the nobility and clergy, which were eager to resume their privileges in the postwar era. Where Haile Selassie actually did succeed in effecting new land taxes, the burdens were often passed by the landowners to the peasants. Despite his wishes, the tax burden remained primarily on the peasants.
Between 1941 and 1959, Haile Selassie worked to establish the autocephaly of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church had been headed by the abuna, a bishop who answered to the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. In 1942 and 1945 Haile Selassie applied to the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church to establish the independence of Ethiopian bishops, and when his appeals were denied he threatened to sever relations with the Coptic Church of Alexandria. Finally, in 1959, Pope Kyrillos VI elevated the Abuna to Patriarch-Catholicos. The Ethiopian Church remained affiliated with the Alexandrian Church. In addition to these efforts, Haile Selassie changed the Ethiopian church-state relationship by introducing taxation of church lands, and by restricting the legal privileges of the clergy, who had formerly been tried in their own courts for civil offenses.
In keeping with the principle of collective security, for which he was an outspoken proponent, he sent a contingent under General Mulugueta Bulli, known as the Kagnew Battalion, to take part in the Korean War by supporting the United Nations Command. It was attached to the American 7th Infantry Division, and fought in a number of engagements including the Battle of Pork Chop Hill.

He sent aid to the British government in 1947 when Britain was affected by heavy flooding. His letter to Lord Meork, National Distress Fund, London said, “even though We are busy of helping our people who didn’t recover from the crises of the war, We heard that your fertile and beautiful country is devastated by the unusually heavy rain, and your request for aid. Therefore, We are sending small amount of money, about one thousand pounds through our embassy to show our sympathy and cooperation.”
He also left his home in exile, Fairfield House, Bath, to the City of Bath for the use of the Aged in 1959.

Haile Selassie contributed Ethiopian troops to the United Nations Operation in the Congo peacekeeping force during the 1960 Congo Crisis, to preserve Congolese integrity, per United Nations Security Council Resolution 143. On 13 December 1960, while Haile Selassie was on a state visit to Brazil, his Imperial Guard forces staged an unsuccessful coup, briefly proclaiming Haile Selassie’s eldest son Asfa Wossen as emperor. The coup d’état was crushed by the regular army and police forces. The coup attempt lacked broad popular support, was denounced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and was unpopular with the army, air force and police. Nonetheless, the effort to depose the emperor had support among students and the educated classes. The coup attempt has been characterized as a pivotal moment in Ethiopian history, the point at which Ethiopians “for the first time questioned the power of the king to rule without the people’s consent”. Student populations began to empathize with the peasantry and poor, and to advocate on their behalf. The coup spurred Haile Selassie to accelerate reform, which was manifested in the form of land grants to military and police officials.
The emperor continued to be a staunch ally of the West, while pursuing a firm policy of decolonization in Africa, which was still largely under European colonial rule. The United Nations conducted a lengthy inquiry regarding the status of Eritrea, with the superpowers each vying for a stake in the state’s future. Britain, the administrator at the time, suggested the partition of Eritrea between Sudan and Ethiopia, separating Christians and Muslims. The idea was instantly rejected by Eritrean political parties, as well as the UN.
A UN plebiscite voted 46 to 10 to have Eritrea be federated with Ethiopia, which was later stipulated on 2 December 1950 in resolution 390 (V). Eritrea would have its own parliament and administration and would be represented in what had been the Ethiopian parliament and would become the federal parliament. Haile Selassie would have none of European attempts to draft a separate Constitution under which Eritrea would be governed, and wanted his own 1955 Constitution protecting families to apply in both Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 1961 the 30-year Eritrean Struggle for Independence began, followed by Haile Selassie’s dissolution of the federation and shutting down of Eritrea’s parliament.
In September 1961, Haile Selassie attended the Conference of Heads of State of Government of Non-Aligned Countries in Belgrade, FPR Yugoslavia. This is considered to be the founding conference of the Non-Aligned Movement.
In 1961, tensions between independence-minded Eritreans and Ethiopian forces culminated in the Eritrean War of Independence. The emperor declared Eritrea the fourteenth province of Ethiopia in 1962. The war would continue for 30 years, as first Haile Selassie, then the Soviet-backed junta that succeeded him, attempted to retain Eritrea by force.
In 1963, Haile Selassie presided over the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the continent-wide African Union (AU). The new organization would establish its headquarters in Addis Ababa. In May of that year, Haile Selassie was elected as the OAU’s first official chairperson, a rotating seat. Along with Modibo Keïta of Mali, the Ethiopian leader would later help successfully negotiate the Bamako Accords, which brought an end to the border conflict between Morocco and Algeria. In 1964, Haile Selassie would initiate the concept of the United States of Africa, a proposition later taken up by Muammar Gaddafi.

On 25 November 1963, the emperor was among other heads of state, including France’s President Charles de Gaulle, who traveled to Washington D.C. and attended the funeral of assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
In 1966, Haile Selassie attempted to create a modern, progressive tax[citation needed] that included registration of land, which would significantly weaken the nobility. Even with alterations, this law led to a revolt in Gojjam, which was repressed although enforcement of the tax was abandoned. The revolt, having achieved its design in undermining the tax, encouraged other landowners to defy Haile Selassie.

While he had fully approved of, and assured Ethiopia’s participation in, UN-approved collective security operations, including Korea and Congo, Haile Selassie drew a distinction with the non-UN approved foreign intervention in Indochina, and consistently deplored it as needless suffering, calling for the Vietnam War to end on several occasions. At the same time he remained open toward the United States and commended it for making progress with African Americans’ Civil Rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s, while visiting the US several times during these years.
In 1967, He visited Montreal, Canada to open the Ethiopian Pavilion at the Expo ’67 World’s Fair where he received great acclaim amongst other World leaders there for the occasion.
Student unrest became a regular feature of Ethiopian life in the 1960s and 1970s. Marxism took root in large segments of the Ethiopian intelligentsia, particularly among those who had studied abroad and had thus been exposed to radical and left-wing sentiments that were becoming popular in other parts of the globe. Resistance by conservative elements at the Imperial Court and Parliament, and by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, made Haile Selassie’s land reform proposals difficult to implement, and also damaged the standing of the government, costing Haile Selassie much of the goodwill he had once enjoyed. This bred resentment among the peasant population. Efforts to weaken unions also hurt his image. As these issues began to pile up, Haile Selassie left much of domestic governance to his Prime Minister, Aklilu Habte Wold, and concentrated more on foreign affairs.

Outside of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie continued to enjoy enormous prestige and respect. As the longest-serving head of state in power, he was often given precedence over other leaders at state events, such as the state funerals of John F. Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle, the summits of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the 1971 celebration of the 2,500 years of the Persian Empire. In 1970 he visited Italy as a guest of President Giuseppe Saragat, and in Milan he met Giordano Dell’Amore, President of Italian Savings Banks Association. He visited China in October 1971, and was the first foreign head of state to meet Mao Zedong following the death of Mao’s designated successor Lin Biao in a plane crash in Mongolia.
Human rights in Ethiopia under Selassie’s regime were poor. Civil liberties and political rights were low with Freedom House giving Ethiopia a “Not Free” score for both civil liberties and political rights in the last years of Selassie’s rule. Common human right abuses included imprisonment and torture of political prisoners and very poor prison conditions. The Ethiopian army also carried out a number of these atrocities while fighting the Eritrean separatists. This was due to a policy of destroying Eritrean villages that supported the rebels. There were a number of mass killings of hundreds of civilians during the war in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

On 28 August 1975, the state media reported that the “ex-monarch” Haile Selassie had died on 27 August of “respiratory failure” following complications from a prostate examination followed up by a prostate operation. His doctor, Asrat Woldeyes, denied that complications had occurred and rejected the government version of his death. Some imperial loyalists believed that the emperor had in fact been assassinated, and this belief remains widely held to this day. One western correspondent in Ethiopia at the time commented, “While it is not known what actually happened, there are strong indications that no efforts were made to save him. It is unlikely that he was actually killed. Such rumors were bound to arise no matter what happened, given the atmosphere of suspicion and distrust prevailing in Addis Ababa at the time.”
The Soviet-backed Derg fell in 1991. In 1992, the emperor’s bones were found under a concrete slab on the palace grounds; some reports suggest that his remains were discovered beneath a latrine. For almost a decade thereafter, as Ethiopian courts attempted to sort out the circumstances of his death, his coffin rested in Bhata Church, near his great-uncle Menelik II’s resting place. On 5 November 2000, Haile Selassie was given an imperial-style funeral by the Ethiopian Orthodox church. The post-communist government refused calls to declare the ceremony an official imperial funeral.
Although such prominent Rastafari figures as Rita Marley and others participated in the grand funeral, most Rastafari rejected the event and refused to accept that the bones were the remains of Haile Selassie. There remains some debate within the Rastafari movement whether Haile Selassie actually died in 1975.

 

Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry shared 3 unseen photos of Diana in New documentary

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The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry are pleased to share three photographs from the personal photo album of the late Diana, Princess of Wales that feature in the new ITV documentary ‘Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy’.

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The 90-minute film, made by Oxford Film and Television, celebrates the life and work of Diana, Princess of Wales in the 20th anniversary year since her passing. In the documentary, the Duke and Prince Harry recall fond memories from their childhood as they look through photographs in a family album assembled by the late Princess.
‘Diana, Our Mother: Life and Legacy’ will air on ITV at 21.00hrs and on HBO at 22.00hrs on Monday 24th July.

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Hamburg

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The final day of the tour started in Hamburg, where The Duke and Duchess visited the Maritime Museum to celebrate the joint UK-German year of science.

At the Elbphilarmonic Concert Hall, one of the biggest concert halls in the world, Their Royal Highnesses listened to a special performance by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra for the children of Hamburg.

The Duchess was then invited to have a go at conducting herself.

The final event of the tour was a visit to Airbus, where Their Royal Highnesses toured training facilities and met apprentices, before viewing the final assembly line of an A320 aircraft.

 

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Heidelberg

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After spending their first day in Germany in Berlin, Their Royal Highnesses then travelled to the German City of Heidelberg.

In Heidelberg The Duke and Duchess visited the the German Cancer Research Institute, where they met some of the leading researchers including, Nobel Prize winner Professor Dr Harald zur Hansen.

Accompanied by the Mayor of Heidelberg, Their Royal Highnesses toured the traditional German market in Central Square.

Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest city and is twinned with the UK town of Cambridge. While in Heidelberg The Duke and Duchess each acted as a cox on a boat in a competitive rowing race between Heidelberg and Cambridge.

The winning team was congratulated at the finish line – which was in a beer garden.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Berlin Germany

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Day three started with saying goodbye to Poland. The Duke and Duchess, accompanied by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, then travelled to Berlin where they received an official welcome from German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The first stop in Berlin was the iconic Brandenburg Gate, which has become a symbol of the unification and freedom of the city.

At the Holocaust Memorial The Duke and Duchess were shown round the Information Centre by its Director, Uwe Neumärker. The Centre shows documents, family photographs and maps showing the extent of the Holocaust.

The Duke and Duchess then travelled to Strassenkinder, a charity that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing welfare assistance, education and sports activities.

At the Bellevue Palace Gardens The Royal Highnesses had a meeting with the Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Day three of The Royal Tour finished with a Queen’s Birthday Garden Party, held at the Ambassador’s Residence, where The Duke gave a speech and delivered a message from The Queen.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to visit Poland day 2

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On Day Two, The Duke and Duchess visited the former Nazi German Concentration Camp Stutthof, which is located in northern Poland. Stutthof was the first Nazi concentration camp set up in Poland in 1939, and was one of the last to be liberated in 1945. 110,000 people were imprisoned in Stutthof, 65,000 of whom died as a result of executions and horrendous living conditions.

Their Royal Highnesses then travelled to Gdansk town centre to experience a traditional Polish market – and a very big welcome.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visits Poland

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Their Royal Highnesses have begun a five-day visit which will see them undertaking a variety of engagements, including events relating to the complex 20th century histories of each country, and opportunities for the Royal couple to meet young people, from entrepreneurs, to mental health campaigners, and bright young talents in music and the arts.

The Duke and Duchess received a warm welcome at Warsaw Airport as they stepped onto Polish soil with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

At the Presidential Palace, Their Royal Highnesses were officially welcomed by President Duda and the First Lady.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Warsaw Rising Museum, which is dedicated to the uprising of 1944 which saw the Polish resistance Home Army attempt to liberate Warsaw from German occupation..

The Royal couple met young Polish entrepreneurs pitching their ideas during a reception at Warsaw’s Spire building.

In the evening, Their Royal Highnesses attended a Garden Party at the Orangery in Lazienki Park.

 

Hassanal Bolkiah

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Hassanal Bolkiah, GCB GCMG (full name: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam; born 15 July 1946) is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. He is also the first and incumbent Prime Minister of Brunei. The eldest son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III and Raja Isteri (Queen) Pengiran Anak Damit, he succeeded to the throne as the Sultan of Brunei, following the abdication of his father on 4 October 1967.
The Sultan has been ranked among the wealthiest individuals in the world; Forbes estimated the Sultan’s total peak net worth at US$20 billion in 2008. Following the death of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016, the Sultan is the wealthiest monarch in the world.

The Sultan was born on 15 July 1946 in Brunei Town (now called Bandar Seri Begawan) as Pengiran Muda (Crown Prince) Hassanal Bolkiah. The Sultan received high school education at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, after which he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, graduating in 1967.

He became the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam on 5 October 1967, after his father abdicated. His coronation was held on 1 August 1968, and made him the Yang di-Pertuan (Head of State) of Brunei. Like his father, he has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, of which Brunei was a protectorate until 1984.

Under Brunei’s 1959 constitution, the Sultan is the head of state with full executive authority, including emergency powers since 1962. On 9 March 2006, the Sultan was reported to have amended Brunei’s constitution to make himself infallible under Bruneian law. Bolkiah, as Prime Minister, is also the head of government. In addition, he holds the portfolios both of Minister of Defense and Minister of Finance. As Minister of Defense he is therefore the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, as well as an Honorary General in the British and Indonesian armed forces and an Honorary Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy. He appointed himself as Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Royal Brunei Police Force.
Bolkiah addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Brunei Darussalam’s admission to the United Nations in September 1984. In 1991, he introduced a conservative ideology to Brunei called Melayu Islam Beraja (Malay Islamic Monarchy, MIB), which presents the monarchy as the defender of the faith. He has recently favoured Brunei government democratisation and declared himself Prime Minister and President. In 2004, the Legislative Council, which had been dissolved since 1962, was reopened.
His designated successor is his eldest son, Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah.
The Sultan’s official residence is the Istana Nurul Iman, with 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, and a floor area of 2,152,782 square feet (200,000 m2; 20 ha). The Istana also houses several offices of government, including that of the Office of the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan, the Office of the Grand Chamberlain, as well as the offices within the Prime Minister’s Department. Parts of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance are also located at the palace. The Crown Prince, who is the Senior Minister, works from offices at the Istana. Hyatt Borneo Management Services and HM The Sultan’s flight maintain offices there.

The University of Brunei Darussalam and Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University (UNISSA) were established. Technical and vocational institutions were also built, such as the Brunei Technological University (UTB), Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College, and vocational schools.
The religious Institute Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah was established. Scholarships for study in the country and abroad were provided.

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces were expanded with the establishment of three major branches of the Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal Brunei Navy and Royal Brunei Air Force.

Medicines and medical treatment are free of charge to children, policemen and members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in hospitals and government clinics, and subject to a small charge for others.
There is one doctor per 949 patients. The life expectancy of the people and the country’s population is 74.2 years for men and 77.3 years for women.
Other facilities offered include various National Housing Plan Scheme (RPN), Land Allocation Scheme, the additional monthly pension on the elderly, subsistence allowances for widows and people with disabilities.
Hassanal Bolkiah established the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation (YSHHB).
In January 2013, the Royal College of General Practitioners created the honour of ‘Companion of the College’ to mark its 60th anniversary. The Sultan became the first recipient of this award in recognition of the work he has done to promote healthcare in Brunei and abroad. An auditorium in the College’s headquarters at 30 Euston Square, London – where the Sultan was inaugurated – was also named in his honour.

Brunei Darussalam is a member of various international and regional organisations such as ASEAN, Commonwealth, the Organisation of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Hassanal Bolkiah was chairman of Summit APEC Leaders in 2000 when Brunei Darussalam hosted the summit. Hassanal Bolkiah was also the chairman of ASEAN Summit in 2013 when Brunei Darussalam hosted the summit.

Hassanal Bolkiah attended various meetings of international organisations.
Brunei Darussalam:
is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1984 as a member of the 6th. Hassanal Bolkiah presided over the meeting of the 7th ASEAN when Brunei hosted the meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government in 2001.
became a member of the United Nations (UN) on 21 September 1984, during the 39th session of the General Assembly.
has a long-standing relationship with the United Kingdom, and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1984. As a contributor to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, the country benefits from training in commerce, industry and human resource development.
joined the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1984.
has been a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) since it was established in 1989. Hassanal Bolkiah was the chairman of the APEC Leaders Meeting in 2000.
became a member of the National Organisation of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in September 1992.

Hassanal Bolkiah is Head of Religion, and Islam is the official religion of the country. Mosques, prayer halls and stations were built across the country. The Sultan decreed that Islamic celebrations such as Early Years Celebration Prophet’s birthday, Isra and Miraj and Nuzul Al Quran are to be celebrated on a large scale. He often attends mosques and surau throughout the country for the obligatory Friday prayers.
In 2014, Hassanal Bolkiah also advocated the adoption of Islamic sharia penalties, including that adultery is to be punished with death by stoning only when proven by the testimony of four trusted, impartial, and truthful witnesses in attendance.
Hassanal Bolkiah also banned public celebrations of Christmas in 2015, including wearing hats or clothes that resemble Santa Claus. The ban affects only local Muslims. Christians are still allowed to celebrate Christmas. In fact according to Bruneian Bishop Cornelius Sim, on 25 December 2015, there were around estimated 4,000 out of 18,000 Bruneian Catholics (mainly Chinese and expats living in the country) attending the mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While there was no absolute ban on celebrations, there was a ban affecting Christmas decorations in public places, especially shopping malls; the ban did not affect small stores or private residences including churches.

There have been national economic development plans; oil and gas remain the main source of national income. Steps are being made to establish a petrochemical industry.
In the Islamic banking sector, Brunei Islamic Trust Fund (TAIB) was established on 29 September 1991, while in 2006, the Islamic Bank of Brunei (IBB) and the Islamic Development Bank of Brunei (IDBB) consolidated into Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) with total assets of US$5 billion.

The Sultan married his first cousin and first wife, Pengiran Anak Saleha or Princess Saleha, later became the Raja Isteri or Queen. His former second wife, Aisha Mariam (the former Pengiran Isteri), was a former flight attendant for the national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines. He divorced her in 2003, stripping her of all her royal titles. In August 2005, her place was taken by a former Malaysian TV3 presenter, Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, who is 33 years younger than the Sultan. They divorced in 2010, and as with Aisha Mariam, the Sultan stripped her of all titles, honours, and monthly allowance. The divorce was announced on Radio Television Brunei by the Grand Chamberlain.
Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah is the current Pengiran Muda Mahkota (“Crown Prince”) and the Sultan’s heir, as the eldest son of the Sultan and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha. As of 2012, Hassanal Bolkiah has five sons and seven daughters with his three wives.

The Sultan received an honorary doctorate at the Moscow State University for International Relations (MGIMO), 2005. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Oxford, England, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Chulalongkorn University of Thailand. In 2003, he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities and Culture from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogyakarta, Indonesia. On 27 January 2005, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the National University of Singapore. On 14 April 2011, he was conferred the Honorary Doctorate of Law by King’s College London. The scroll for the honorary doctorate was presented by Lord Duoro, the chairman of the Council of King’s College London. He was awarded with an honorary doctorate in philosophy and humanities on 21 April 2011 from Universitas Indonesia.

The Sultan holds an honorary commission in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as an Air Marshal. He is also an Honorary Admiral of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, a title given to him by Queen Elizabeth II when he took the salute at the passing out parade of the 2001 summer term at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, the Royal Navy’s officer-training school in the United Kingdom. He has an English residence at Binfield Manor in Berkshire.
In April 2008, he was made an honorary member of the Indonesian Satgas Atbara Special Operations Unit. He holds the rank of Honorary Colonel of Pakistan’s Special Service Group (SSG), awarded to him during his visit to the Pakistan Army’s SSG headquarters at Cherat. He possesses red beret and paratrooper wings of the Black Hawk paratroopers, presented to him by the Indian Army during his state visit to India.

In January 2013, the Royal College of General Practitioners inaugurated the Sultan as the first Companion of the College for services to healthcare in Brunei and abroad.

The Sultan is passionate about cars. The royal family always maintains a collection of over 100 cars and the palace has the underground garage to accommodate them. Apart from this he once owned one of the largest private car collections in the world with about 2500 cars which his brother Jefri Bolkiah bought for himself, the Sultan and other members of the royal family to entertain their car passion. The car collection and Prince Jefri’s other indulgences blew through billions and ultimately landed him in trouble and the royal family in financial crisis. The car collection was left abandoned; most of the non garaged cars were beyond saving, the rest were auctioned.
The Sultan’s involvement in sports includes playing polo, golf, and badminton. He also enjoys race car driving, piloting helicopters, and aircraft. On international trips, he pilots his own Boeing 747-8. He is also very fond of gold and has a Rolls-Royce coated with 24k gold.
He often enjoys fine cigars, and has a notable favourite, the Gurkha Centurian, that was commissioned specifically for him.
His primary residence, the 1,800-room palace Istana Nurul Iman, is considered the world’s largest private residence.

 

Queen Letizia : Fleur de Lys tiara

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Queen Letizia has only worn the tiara once before in February, at a gala dinner held at the royal palace in Madrid for the Argentinian President. It previously belonged to Letizia’s mother-in-law, Queen Sofia of Spain, but she passed it on to her daughter-in-law when her husband King Juan Carlos I abdicated in 2014.
The tiara is only worn on special occasions, for events like state visits, and is rarely used by other members of the family apart from the queen. It was only fitting that Letizia wear it to the state banquet hosted by Her Majesty; the Countess of Barcelona actually wore it decades ago in 1953 to the Queen’s coronation.
The family heirloom, known as ‘La Buena’, was originally a wedding present from King Alfonso XIII to his wife Princess Victoria Eugenie, who wore it on her wedding day in 1906. The princess later became Queen Ena of Spain – the great-grandmother of King Felipe.
The tiara features three large fleur de lys motifs – a symbol of heraldry and of the House of Bourbon. It is studded with large round diamonds and set in platinum, which is said to be the lightest of metals for the wearer to use