Hailed during his reign as the man who stood for his country against the invasion by Mussolini’s Italy, Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia was very much revered in the eyes of many people around the world. The Emperor ruled in an absolute monarchy with the help of the elite in the country as well as the Coptic Church; he operated by the means of memory, and even in his old age did not make plans on settling down.
Revolutionary activities in 1974 saw the demise of the Emperor; protests from student groups, teachers asking for better wage, and taxi drivers slowly built momentum for some faction of the armed forces (the Derg) to build resistance against the government and the Emperor.
The Derg, also known as the committee at first were loyal to the emperor, but quickly turned on him. On 11th of September, 1974, several female members of the Emperor’s family were jailed; on the same day, the Emperor himself was questioned by the Derg. The following day, the Emperor was dethroned, after being forced to watch the British documentary the Hidden Famine, which focused on the thousands of people who died during the farminine (which was mostly ignored by the Emperor) in Wollo in 1973. The Emperor was expelled from the Palace he once knew as his home, office, and zoo.
Emperor Haile Selassie I spent the last few months of his life imprisoned in the Grand Palace. He spent most of his time worshiping at the chapel and reading. He is believed to have died of circulatory failure; however some believe he was mothered with a wet pillow. He was buried in the palace’s lavatory, remaining there till November 2000, when he was given an imperial styled funeral, among the guests at his funeral was Rita Marley (widow of Bob Marley). Interestingly enough, the Rasatafari rejected the event.