Princess Sara, daughter-in-law of last Ethiopian Emperor, has died at the age of 90

CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Princess Sara, the Dowager Duchess of Harar, has died on 17 February 2019 at the of 90. The Princess was born Sara Gizaw on 1 January 1929 as the daughter of Gizaw Abera. She received her education at the Royal Infirmary Nursing School of Edinburgh.

She married Prince Makonnen, Duke of Harar, the second son of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Empress Menen Asfaw and they had five sons together. She was widowed in 1957 when her husband was killed in a car accident. He was only 32 years old. Princess Sara was imprisoned upon the overthrow of the family in 1974 alongside other members of the family. She was finally released from in 1988.

The New York Times reported, “The Marxist Government of Ethiopia today set free seven members of the deposed royal family who had been imprisoned without trial since the 1974 revolution in which Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown.

They included the late Emperor’s 79-year-old daughter, Princess Tenagne-Work, a powerful figure during the old regime; four of his granddaughters, and the widows of two princes.

The seven, who said they were in good health, were handed over to joyous relatives in front of reporters.

The princes’ widows were Sara Gizaw, who had been the wife of Prince Mekonnen, second son of the Emperor; and Zurish-Work, the widow of Ras Asrat Kassa, a pretender to the throne who was executed shortly after the 1974 revolution. The others were granddaughters Aida Desta, Hirut Desta, Seble Desta and Sofia Desta. Those released said three family members remained in custody.

Haile Selassie died in detention and under obscure circumstances in 1975, almost a year after his ouster. His body was buried in a secret location, and the Ethiopian Government has been similarly secretive with regard to his family, not commenting on the decision to free the seven today. However, their release followed several years of pressure from Western governments.”1

She lived in Addis Ababa until her death. She was laid to rest at Addis Ababa’s Holy Trinity Cathedral. Her eldest son, Prince Paul Wossen Seged is currently second in line to the defunct Ethiopian throne.

  1. New York Times

About Moniek Bloks 2762 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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