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Haile Selassie

The Rock HotelHaile Selassie

Haile Selassie, born Tafari Makonnen, was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 until his deposition in 1974. Haile Selassie's ascension to the throne marked a new era for Ethiopia, as he became the country's 225th and final Emperor. His title, "Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God, King of Kings of Ethiopia," reflected the reverence with which he was regarded by many Ethiopians and followers of the Rastafari movement. 

Haile Selassie's visit to Gibraltar on 31st May 1936, according to “The Sunday Bay” during his journey into exile, underscored the territory's strategic importance and its role as a refuge for those fleeing conflict and persecution. 

Haile Selassie, along with his family, arrived in Jerusalem in the British Mandate of Palestine on 5 May 1936, seeking refuge and preparing to make his case at the League of Nations. The choice of Jerusalem held symbolic significance, as the Solomonic Dynasty claimed descent from the House of David. After their time in Jerusalem, Haile Selassie and his entourage departed aboard the British cruiser HMS Capetown for Gibraltar. It was portrayed in the news as: “A message from Gibraltar states that the Emperor of Ethiopia, who arrived there yesterday morning travelling incognito lunched with the Governor Sir Charles Harington”. The emperor staid at the Rock Hotel until Sunday. Haile Selassie's presence in Gibraltar added a touch of prestige to the territory. From Gibraltar, the exiles were transferred to an ordinary liner, with the United Kingdom government opting for a low-key departure to avoid the expense of a state reception.

His brief stay at the Rock Hotel left a mark on Gibraltar's history, serving as a reminder of the territory's connections to global events. 


Haile Selassie at The Rock Hote, Gibraltar.

Haile Selassie in Gibraltar.

'The Sunday Times'. Haile Selassie short article in newspaper.