Ethiopia – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on second day of state visit lays wreath at memorial and visits University, 3rd February 1965
On the second day of their eight-day state visit to Ethiopia, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh laid wreaths at Addis Ababa’s memorial to war dead and visited the Haile Selassie university in a day crowded with engagements.
In the morning, the queen and the duke went to the commonwealth war cemetery on the outskirts of the capital. This is one of six such cemeteries in the country and in it are buried 299 men killed during the reconquest of Ethiopia in the last war. British forces freed the country in 1941 from annexation by Italy under Mussolini.
Another engagement was at the Haile Selassie University. The Queen and the Duke were shown round by the university’s president. Queen Elizabeth was particularly interested in a display at the institute of Ethiopian studies. There were paintings dating back to the Queen of Sheba (950 b.c.). One of the parchments in Amharic, the country’s official language, was a life of the apostles written in 1215.
Later in the day the Queen visited a hospital largely financed by Britain, attended a garden party, and in the evening attended a banquet given in her honour.
Queen Elizabeth, the first reigning British monarch to visit Ethiopia, is returning a state visit to Britain by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1954.