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Haile Selassie

PUBLISHED: 13:22 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:09 04 April 2017

Emperor Haile Selassie.

Emperor Haile Selassie.


The Weston Mercury and Weston Town Council are giving you the chance to nominate which blue plaques will be installed in Weston-super-Mare first. Read these biographies and then cast your votes for your favourites.

Haile Selassie :: Emperor of Ethiopia

July 23, 1892 to August 27, 1975

Ras Tafari became the Lion of Judah and King of Kings on succeeding to the Ethiopian crown in 1930. His lineage claimed direct descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

He travelled throughout Europe and while keen to modernise his own country, remained wary of European imperialism, insisting all businesses should retain elements of local ownership.

Mussolini’s fascist Italian regime invaded Ethiopia in 1935 and resistance against superior arms proved pointless.

The Royal Navy sent HMS Capetown to rescue the Imperial Family and they settled in Fairfield House, Bath, for the duration of World War Two.

While in Bath, Haile Selassie enjoyed visiting Weston-super-Mare and would happily swim in the Open Air Pool (later called the Tropicana). Always resisting invitations to queue-jump, he would happily chat with other visitors.

It was rumoured he was even contemplating buying a house in Weston.

When the war ended he returned home but was deposed in the 1974 Soviet-backed revolution. He died a prisoner the following year. Today he is worshipped as God incarnate by the Rastifarian movement which has its origins in 1930s Jamaica.

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