Ethiopian prince's hair returned after over 140 years in UK
September 22, 2023 10:31 PM
A lock of hair from an Ethiopian prince who died in 1879 and artefacts looted by the British during a 19th-century battle have been returned to the east African country.
Items returned to the Ethiopian embassy in a ceremony late on Thursday in London include three silver cups and a shield.
The artefacts were pillaged during the battle of Magdala in 1868 when 13,000 British soldiers besieged Emperor Tewodros II's fortress.
The lock of hair is from the emperor's son, Prince Alemayehu. It was reportedly returned by a descendant of Captain Tristram Speedy, a member of the British expedition who became the prince's guardian.
After the battle, seven-year-old Prince Alemayehu was taken to England. He spent the next decade in Britain but died in 1879 at the age of 18.
At the reported request of Queen Victoria, he was buried in the catacombs of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the royal residence west of London.
The British monarchy, however, has declined a request from the family of the prince to repatriate his remains due to the need to "preserve the dignity" of others buried at the chapel.