Buckingham Palace refuses to return the body of Ethiopian Prince Alemayehu who was buried at Windsor Castle since the 19th century. Photo/BBC
LONDON – Buckingham Palace has refused a request to return the body of a prince Ethiopia who was buried at Windsor Castle in the 19th century.
Prince Alemayehu was born in 1861 to Tewodros II, Emperor of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), and arrived in England as an orphan at the age of seven after he was taken in by British soldiers after the battle of Maqdala. His mother died on the way.
Queen Victoria later took an interest in him and arranged for his education – and finally his funeral when he died aged 18.
The family also wants his body sent back to Ethiopia.
“We want his body to return as a family and as Ethiopians because that is not the country of his birth,” one of the royal lineage Fasil Minas told the BBC.
“It is not right for him to be buried in England,” he added as quoted by the UK-based news agency, Wednesday (24/5/2023).
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But in a statement sent to the BBC, a spokesman for Buckingham Palace said the transfer of his body could affect others buried in the catacombs of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
“It would have been impossible to exhume his remains without disturbing the resting places of a large number of other people in the vicinity,” the palace said.
The statement added that the authorities at the chapel were sensitive to the need to honor Prince Alemayehu’s memory, but they also had a responsibility to uphold the dignity of those who died.