Farewell for Princess Medeferiash Worq
The funeral of Princess Medeferiash Worq Abebe, the wife of Crown Prince Asfawosen Haile Sellasie, has taken place at the Trinity Cathedral Church this afternoon in the presence of patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Paulos, dignitaries, members of the imperial family, the Rastafarian community and friends.
A two hour requiem mass was held at the church for the princess who died at the age of 84.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at the church to lay floral tributes where the princess was buried next to that of her mother, Wosen Yelesh Mengesha, in accordance with her wishes.
The princess was one of the most popular members of the royal family, admired for her charm and her commitment for various causes.
Born in Dessie town in 1925 to her father Major General Abebe Damtew and her mother Wosen Yelesh Mengesha, she began school with the private teacher, as it was the tradition with royal children then. She has studied reading and writing there before joining Etege Menen School.
During the Italian occupation, the princess went to Jerusalem in exile where she also attended a boarding school. She returned to Ethiopia after the expulsion of the Italians.It was then that she met and married Crown Prince Asfawosen Haileselassie, heirs to the Ethiopian throne.
She assumed various ceremonial duties and has involved in social issues. Estifanos Menegesha, her nephew, told this writer that she has been very supportive of her husband who was ruling under “the shadow Emperor Haile Sellassie”. He described her as strong-willed and determined person.
A year before the Emperor’s removal from the throne, the princess headed to London accompanying her husband who was suffering from stroke. Since then she lived the most years of her outside Ethiopia.
After the demise of Derg, she has been coming back and forth to Ethiopia, settled three years ago. Estifanos said she was very religious who had devoted much of her time to charity works, including making financial contributions for monasteries like geshen maryam.
The Princess’s husband, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen died in Virginia on 17 January 1997. The princess was survived by three sons, Prince Zera Yakob Asfawosen, Princess Sihin Asfaw Wosen, Princess Maryam-sena Asfaw Wosen and Princess Siferash Bizu.
(In the second picture,Princess Sihin Asfaw Wosen, Princess Maryam-Sena Asfaw Wosen and other family members.In the third, Estifanos dressed in black and carrying eye-glass with Hailue Shawel and another person that I couldn’t identify.In the last one, a mourner carrying the picture of Emperor Haile Selassie.More pictures from the service tomorrow.)