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The Dark side of Colonial past: UK's Buckingham Palace Refuses To Return The Mortal Remains Of Ethopian Prince: Report

Buckingham Palace has reportedly denied a request to return the remains of an Ethiopian prince who was buried at Windsor Castle in the 19th century.

UK News
| Written By
Bhagyasree Sengupta
Buckingham Palace

Image: AP

Buckingham Palace has reportedly denied a request to return the remains of an Ethiopian Prince who was buried at Windsor Castle in the 19th century. Teenager Prince Dejatch Alemayehu of Abyssinia was captured by the British troops from his home at the age of 6. According to NBC News, the British royal palace has refused to give his mortal remains to his family in East Africa. He was taken to the United Kingdom in 1868 and died just over a decade later in England. 

Following his death, the body of the teenager was buried at Windsor Castle which is one of the official residences of the new British Monarch King Charles III. The castle is also a traditional site of British royal funerals and weddings. The Eastern African nation has been asking for the return of the prince’s remains and other valuable treasures for the last 150 years. While the family members of the Prince have been asking for the body, Buckingham Palace said that doing this would disturb other human remains buried nearby.  "The Dean and Canons of Windsor are very sensitive to the need to honour the memory of Prince Alemayehu," Buckingham Palace said in a statement to NBC News. "However, they have been advised that it is very unlikely that it would be possible to exhume the remains without disturbing the resting place of a substantial number of others in the vicinity," the statement further stated. 

The Backstory 

The prince in question, Alemayehu was the son of the emperor of Abyssinia, Tewodros II. Tewodros was a Coptic Christian ruler who is known for capturing British officials and missionaries after the crown refused to help him in the wars against the Muslims, who were trying to invade the country. Alemayehu was taken from Africa after British forces defeated and looted his father. He was captured on December 1867 after Britain launched an expedition of 13,000 soldiers and 40,000 animals, NBC reported.

After he was captured, the erstwhile British Monarch, Queen Victoria took an interest in the child and made sure that the child go to elite schools. He was later sent to Sandhurst for military training. He died of pleurisy at the age of 18 in 1879. "Very grieved and shocked to hear by telegram, that good Alemayehu had passed away this morning. It is too sad! All alone, in a strange country, without a single person or relative, belonging to him,” Queen Victoria wrote in her diary at the time of his death. After the Queen’s order, he was buried in the catacombs of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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