This was the most sought out invitations on the Washington DC social scene of 2017; the wedding of Ethiopian Prince Yoel Makonnen to his American girlfriend Ariana. The theme of the wedding was “Old World Aristocracy meets New World Charm”. Prince Yoel who is the great grandson son of Emperor Haile Selassie married American brains with beauty Ariana Austin in Virginia, just outside the American capital. Prince Yoel & Ariana met in Washington, DC. and courted for more than 10 years.
Prince Yoel was born in Rome after his grandfather Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown by Mengistu in 1974. This coup ended the dynasty which was believed to have started in the 11th century. The Ethiopian dynasty also known as Solomonic dynasty traces its ancestry back to the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon of the Holy Bible. The usurpation of power by Mengistu forced the parents of Prince Yoel into exile. The young prince grew up in Switzerland before moving to the United States where he studied Law.
The Bride Ariana is American with Guyanese ancestry. Her maternal grandfather was once mayor of Georgetown the capital city of Guyana. She was educated at Harvard University and is pursuing a career in philanthropy. Ariana is smart, hardworking and plans to assist her husband in the making of a documentary on Emperor Haile Selassie.
Many distinguished guests were in attendance, including members of the Ethiopian royal family such as: HIH Prince Paul Makonnen, HIH Prince Phillip Makonnen, HIH Prince Beedemariam Makonnen, HIH Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, and HIH Princess Mary Asfaw Wossen. Other notable guests included Dr. Johnnetta Cole, recently retired director of the National Museum of African Art; Sharon Pratt, former mayor of Washington, D.C.; His Excellency Deep Ford, ambassador of Guyana to the United Nations organizations in Geneva; and His Excellency Riyad Insanally, Guyanese ambassador to the United States.
The wedding took place in the Ethiopian Orthodox church and was traditional but with a twist to incorporate the bride’s American roots. The bride got permission to have her father walk her down the aisle. The church agreed since it was the mixing of two different cultures they wanted to represent both families. They also served Ethiopian honey wine and Guyanese black cake as part of the menu. Some have dubbed this as the modern day “Coming to America” love story. We wish them all the joy and happiness in their union.