Buckingham Palace refuses to return body -News

LONDON — Body of teenage prince captured by British army won’t be abandoned back to the rest of his family in east africathis british royal family has said that in the latest high-profile dispute over its legacy brutal colonial history.

Buckingham Palace has repeatedly rejected requests to repatriate the remains of Prince Dejatch Alemayehu of Abyssinia – including modern-day Ethiopia – who was taken from his home in 1868 at the age of six and died in England more than a decade later.

His remains were buried at Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of King Charles III and the traditional venue for British royal funerals and weddings.

Alemayehu was taken from Africa after British troops defeated his father and plundered his imperial capital in one of the most notorious military operations of the British colonial era. For the past 150 years, Ethiopia has demanded the return of the prince’s remains and other treasures.

Fasil Minas, descendant of the Abyssinian royal family, relative of Alemayehu, tell the bbc: “We want his body returned as a family and as an Ethiopian because that’s not the country he was born in.”

But the palace said this week that was impossible because it would affect other human remains buried nearby.

“The Dean and Chaplain of Windsor are very sensitive to the need to honor Prince Alemayehu,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement sent to NBC News on Tuesday.

“However, they were advised that the possibility of exhuming the remains without affecting the resting place of a large number of other people nearby was remote,” the statement said.

The statement added that the Ethiopian embassy in London was welcome to continue to pay homage at the grave, but historians said the palace should do more to take responsibility for its past.

Staff from the Ethiopian embassy in London pay tribute to the late prince outside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in 2019.@EthioEmbassyUK / Twitter

“It was a very emotional question because it reminded everyone of Alemayehu’s plight—a child stranded in a foreign land, never able to return home,” says a book about Alemayehu and the British raid on Abyssinia. The author of the new book, Andrew Heavens, is titled “ThePrince and Predator,” told NBC News.

“Emotionally, most people who know Al Mayehu’s story feel that his body should be returned. He made it clear before his death that he wanted to go back,” Paradise said.

Heavens added that the palace could do more to show Ethiopia why the prince’s body cannot be removed.

Alema Yehu was the son of the Abyssinian emperor Tewodros II, a Coptic Christian ruler who, after Britain refused to assist him in his wars with his mostly Muslim neighbors , he captured missionaries and British government officials.

In December 1867, Britain sent 13,000 soldiers and 40,000 animals, including 44 elephants trained to pull giant artillery pieces. National Army Museum In London, free the hostages.

Dejatch Alamayou and Captain Speedy in 1868.
Alemayehu is an orphan, and the departed Captain Speedy becomes his guardian.V&A Images/Getty Images

They did not reach Magdala, the capital of Abyssinia, until April. More than 500 Abyssinians were killed and thousands wounded in the 90 minutes of fighting – some estimates are much higher and there are no complete contemporary records.

Two British soldiers were killed and 18 soldiers were wounded. Tewodros then committed suicide with a pistol presented by Queen Victoria.

Fifteen elephants and about 200 mules carried all the wealth that the British had looted from Magdala. Almayehu’s mother, Queen Tiruwaf Ube, was planning to take her son on a trip to England, but died en route.

Queen Victoria took an interest in Alemayehu and arranged for him to attend an elite school before sending him to the Military Training Academy in Sandhurst. He left Leeds, England, less than a year later, and died in 1879 of pleurisy – an inflammation of the lining around the lungs – at the age of 18.

Victoria wrote in her diary: “Extremely saddened and shocked to learn by telegram that the well-meaning Alema Yehu passed away this morning. So sad! Alone, in a strange country, with no one or relatives belongs to him.”

He is buried in the catacombs of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

For Jeremiah Gaza, an expert on the looting of human remains, originally from University College Dublin, California, there was no question that Alemayehu had been stolen.

“He was, he was kidnapped,” he said. “You have a minor who comes to another country as an orphan after his mother dies, and then dies himself at 18 – that should feel wrong. He was robbed too, like all the others that were robbed Curios are like treasures.”

The British obsession with Africa at the time created a huge market for stolen goods, as well as a thriving slave trade. This curiosity extends from ceremonial shields and religious objects to black Africans in their lives.

“You don’t kidnap a white child; Victoria doesn’t give birth to a [London suburb] Camden Town – there has to be a racial element, this prince coming to a foreigner in the palace,” Gaza said.

many treasures stolen stay in british museumhas been in discussions with Ethiopian officials since 2019 about the possible return of certain items.

Several other countries, including Benin and Greece, have long petitioned the British government to return items they believe were stolen during the colonial era.

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