The Royal Family

The Solomonic dynasty also known as the House of Solomon, is the former ruling dynasty of the Ethiopian Empire. Its members claim lineal descent from the biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Tradition asserts that the queen gave birth to Menelik I after her biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem. In 1270, the Zagwe dynasty of Ethiopia was overthrown by Yekuno Amlak, who claimed descent from Solomon and reinitiated the Solomonic era of Ethiopia. The dynasty lasted until 1974, ended by a coup d’etat and the deposition of Haile Selassie, who was a Solomonic prince through his grandmother.

This is the current list of succession to the Ethiopian throne. This is based on the 1955 orders of succession. Keep in mind that the list will change as marriages take place and new children are born into the royal family. According to the 1955 orders of succession and with the assent of the Imperial Crown Council, the current order of succession among the living male descendants of Haile Selassie I is as follows:

The Ethiopian Royal Family
  1. Crown Prince Zera Yacob Amha Selassie
  2. Prince Paul Wossen Seged Makonnen, 2nd Duke of Harrar
  3. Prince Mikael Amde Yesus Makonnen
  4. Prince Yokshan Dawit Makonnen
  5. Prince Joel Dawit Makonnen
  6. Prince Philip Tafari Makonnen
  7. Prince Mikael Tafari Makonnen
  8. Prince Nahshon Tafari Gizaw Makonnen
  9. Prince David Tafari Makonnen
  10. Prince Isaiah Tafari Makonnen
  11. Prince Baeda Maryam Makonnen
  12. Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie
  13. Prince Christian Sahle Selassie Ermias
  14. Prince Rufael Fiseha Tsieon Ermias

His Imperial Highness, Crown Prince Zera Yacob Amha Selassie

Born on August 17, 1953 (possibly 1951) in Addis Ababa, His Imperial Highness, Zera Yacob Amha Selassie is the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie, who was the last official emperor of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie I ruled Ethiopia from April 2, 1930, until September 12, 1974. He died on August 27, 1975, at the age of 83, following the coup d’etat.

Ethiopia calls their ruler the Negusa Nagast, which literally translates to “King of Kings, Elect of God”, however, rendered in English as simply “Emperor”. 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.

This made Emperor Haile Selassie’s son, Emperor-in-Exile Amha Selassie of Ethiopia or by the more official title as His Imperial Majesty Emperor Amha Selassie I, Elect of God, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and King of Kings of Ethiopia.

When Amha Selassie died on February 17, 1997, at the age of 82 after a long illness. His body was flown back to Ethiopia and buried in the Imperial family vaults at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa in a huge ceremonial funeral presided over by Patriarch Abune Paulos.

This technically you would think would make his son, Zera Yacob Amha Selassie the next king however the abolition of the monarchy in March of 1975 meant for now at least, makes Zera Yacob Amha Selassie, Crown Prince of Ethiopia – next in line for the throne.

Crown Prince Zera Yacob has been regarded as the head of the Imperial Family of Ethiopia since the death of his father in 1997. He is currently living in Addis Abeba, which is the capital and the largest city in Ethiopia.

Zera Yacob Amha Selassie, Crown Prince of Ethiopia married Nunu Getaneh and they had a daughter, Princess Lideta Zera Yacob.

His Imperial Highness, Crown Prince Zera Yacob Amha Selassie

Prince Paul Wossen Seged Makonnen, 2nd Duke of Harrar

Prince (Leul) Paul Wossen Seged is the 2nd Duke of Harrar. He is the eldest son of Prince Makonnen Haile Selassie, (the first) Duke of Harar who was born on October 16, 1924, and died on May 13, 1957). Prince Paul’s father was the 2nd son of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. His mother is Princess Sara Gizaw, Dowager Duchess of Harar.

In accordance with the 1955 orders of succession, Prince (Leul) Paul Wossen Seged is currently 2nd in line for the throne as his cousin, Zera Yacob Amha Selassie has yet to produce a male heir – which makes Prince Paul the heir presumptive.

Little is known about Prince Paul, other than he seems to have been born in 1947 in Addis Ababa. He became the titular Duke of Harrar since the death of his father in 1958, when he was only 11 years old. He was imprisoned by the Derg from 1974 until 1989.

Prince Mikael Amde Yesus Makonnen

Prince Mikael Amde Yesus Makonnen is the second son of Prince Makonnen Haile Selassie, Duke of Harar who was born on October 16, 1924 and died on May 13, 1957). Prince Mikael’s father was the 2nd son of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. His mother is Princess Sara Gizaw, Dowager Duchess of Harar.

Being the second son, of a second son of an Emperor doesn’t normally put you so high in the line of succession but it seems he’s gotten lucky and is still even after all these years, he is still 3rd in line to the throne.

Prince Mikael Amde Yesus Makonnen also is known as Prince Michael Mekonnen, as well as Prince Mikael Made Yesus. Like his brother, he was imprisoned by the Derk from 1974 to 1989.

HIH Mikael Amde Yesus Makonnen

Prince Joel David Makonnen Haile Selassie

Prince Joel David Makonnen Haile Selassie of Ethiopia (Yoel Dawit Makonnen Haile Selassie) was born on May 5, 1982 in exile in Rome, Italy.

 He is the great-grandson of Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia. Under the terms of the 1955 Constitution of Ethiopia, he is currently fifth in the line of succession to the former Imperial Ethiopian throne.

Prince Joel David Makonnen Haile Selassie now lives in the United States, with his spouse, Ariana Austin of whom he married in 2017.  

He formally uses the style His Imperial Highness with the title Prince Joel David Makonnen Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. He’s an attorney and speaks five languages – English, Amharic, Fench, Italian, and Spanish.