HER ROYAL HIGHNESS
H.R.H. EMPRESS ITEGE
her royal highness
Empress Menen was active in promoting women’s issues in Ethiopia, was Patroness of the Ethiopian Red Cross, and the Ethiopian Women’s Charitable Organization. She was also patroness of the Jerusalem Society that arranged for pilgrimages to the Holy Land. She founded the Empress Menen School for Girls in Addis Ababa, the first all-girls school which had both boarding and day students. Girls from all over the Empire were brought to the school to receive a modern education, encouraged by the Empress who visited it often and presided over its graduation ceremonies. The Empress gave generously, as well as sponsored programs for the poor, ill and disabled. She was also a devoutly religious woman who did much to support the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. She built, renovated and endowed numerous churches in Ethiopia and in the Holy Land. Prominent among these are the St. Raguel Church in Addis Ababa’s Merkato district, the Kidane Mehret (Our Lady Covenant of Mercy) Church on Mount Entoto, and the Holy Trinity Monastery on the banks of the River Jordan in the Holy Land. She gave generously from her personal funds towards the building of the new Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion at Axum, but did not live to see it completed and dedicated.
Empress Menen performed perfectly in the role of Empress-consort. In her public role she combined religious piety, concern for social causes, and support for development schemes with the majesty of her Imperial status. Outwardly she was the dutiful wife, visiting schools, churches, exhibitions and model farms, attending public and state events at her husband’s side or by herself. She took no public stand on political or policy issues. Behind the scenes however, she was the Emperor’s most trusted advisor, quietly offering advice on a whole range of issues. She avoided the publicly political role that her predecessor as Empress-consort, Empress Taytu Betul, had taken, which had caused deep resentment in government circles during the reign of Menelik II.
H.R.H. EMPRESS MENEN
When Her Majesty Empress Menen accompanied His Majesty Quidamani Haile Selassie on the diplomatic mission to free Ethiopia from the Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941. She made a pledge to the Virgin Mary at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, promising...
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)...
15 Febrary, 1962 "We are pleased with the speech Our Prime Minister delivered yesterday on behalf of Our Ministers and Our people concerning the demise of Her Imperial Majesty Itegue Menen in which he adequately described her kindness and virtues....
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