Britain refuses to return the remains of the Ethiopian prince – media – RT Africa
The British royal family says the exhumation of Alemayehu’s body would disrupt the resting places of others buried nearby
Buckingham Palace has reportedly rejected a request to repatriate the remains of Prince Alemayehu, an Ethiopian royal who was brought to the UK as a child in the 19th century and is buried in the catacombs of St George’s Chapel in the Windsor Castle.
Prince Alemayehu was reportedly abducted and taken to England at the age of seven as an orphan after British soldiers looted his father’s imperial citadel and seized royal treasures after the Battle of Maqdala in 1868. He was was cared for by Queen Victoria, who arranged for his education. and his burial after his death at the age of 18.
However, the prince’s relatives want his remains returned to his native country, Fasil Minas, a descendant of the Abyssinian royal family, stressing that Ethiopia is his rightful homeland.
“We want his remains back as a family and as Ethiopians, because that is not the country he was born in.“, said Minas, quoted by the BBC.
In response to the request, Buckingham Palace said removing Alemayehu’s remains could disrupt the resting places of many others interred at St. George’s Chapel.
“It is highly unlikely that it will be possible to exhume the remains without disturbing the resting place of a significant number of other people nearby.“, said the palace in a statement quoted by the BBC.
The statement highlighted the sensitivity of the chapel authorities to honor the memory of the Ethiopian prince, while maintaining the “responsibility to preserve the dignity of the deceased.”
He further said that the royal family had previously responded to requests from Ethiopian delegations to visit the chapel.
For several decades, Ethiopians have been campaigning for the return of their royal. In 2007, Addis Ababa wrote to Queen Elizabeth II, requesting that the prince’s bones be repatriated to Ethiopia, but the request was denied.
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