33-year-old Ariana Austin, from Maryland in the US, became an African princess on September 9 when she married 35-year-old lawyer Joel Makonnen.
Makonnen is a great-grandson of the last Emperor of Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selassie I, through Prince Makonnen.
The adorable couple first met at a nightclub in Washington about 12 years ago. In an interview, Makonnen said he used a cheesy pick-up line on Austin: “I said, ‘You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire,’ or whatever the gin was.”
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Austin said she is excited to be part of a family that traces its heritage back to the Biblical King Solomon and Queen of Sheba.
She said: “It’s unbeatable heritage and history. It combines sheer black power and ancient Christian tradition.”
Their elaborate Ethiopian Orthodox Christian that took place in Maryland wedding featured 13 priests. They both wore crowns like true royalties. Makonnen was born in Rome, where his family lived after Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974.
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