Coronation of Empress Menen
After the ceremony for the Emperor, the Empress entered with her attendants to take her throne. Perhaps her attendants were her daughters, seventeen-year-old Tenagne Work and thirteen-year-old Zenebework. The following reading from the Psalms of David (Psalms 45:9-11) was made as a prayer. “Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” The Empress was presented with a ring encrusted with diamonds, and then the red and gold coronation robes were placed upon her. The new Emperor received the Empress’s crown from the Archbishop and spoke the following words about his Empress,
“As I, with the will of God, have received this crown from your Holiness, I request the Empress to receive this crown and partake in the honor with me. Therefore, I request your Holiness to put the crown on Empress Menen.” Abuna Kyrilos took the crown from the Emperor and placed it on the Empress’s head as he made a prayer that the crown be one of knowledge and wisdom, sympathy and goodness. In accordance with this prayer, Empress Menen used her crown to serve the people and to help the poor. After receiving her crown, the Empress went to bow before the Emperor and returned to sit on her throne. Again the anthem was played, the cannons roared and the multitude of women outside the church ululated in appreciation for Empress Menen.
The newly crowned Emperor and Empress then took a grand tour around the inside of St. George’s Church, escorted by bishops and priests, their children, high dignitaries, assistants and others all carrying palm branches and chanting, “Blessed be the King of Israel.” After this, Their Majesties removed their crowns and royal vestments to attend mass inside St. George’s Church in their traditional white silken clothing. Later they donned their regal robes and crowns once more in order to present themselves to the waiting multitude outside before entering a coach drawn by six bay horses, which conveyed them to the Imperial Palace for a state dinner.
On that day, silver medallions bearing the likeness of the new Emperor and Empress were presented to their honorary guests. In attendance were the Duke of Gloucester as envoy of the King of England, the Prince of Udine representing Italy, Marshal Franchet d’Esperey of France, and emissaries from Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and the United States. European nobles and ministers present on the occasion expressed their appreciation for the loveliness of Empress Menen. It is interesting to note that the thirty-nine-year-old Empress was more than five months pregnant with her last son when the lengthy coronation events took place.