Today is Victoria Day here in Canada. This day honors the legacy
of Queen Alexandrina Victoria, born on this date on May 24, 1819.
Queen Alexandrina Victoria was the Lady monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Ethiopians will best remember that it was Queen Victoria that their Emperor Tewodros II had sought out through an infamous letter that never made it to her Majesty. Insulted by the lack of response,
Emperor Tewodros jailed British subjects in Ethiopia. This lead to the Napier Expedition, where British forces marched into Ethiopia and inevitably rescued the captives. It resulted in the end of Emperor Tewodros’ reign.
According to The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: Politics:
“With a Muslim invasion of Ethiopia seeming imminent, Tewodros sent a letter in 1862 asking Queen Victoria to send British military instructors to come teach his army to manufacture and handle firearms. Tewodros entrusted the letter’s delivery to British
council Charles Duncan Cameron, but Cameron’s superiors sent him on a series of diplmatic missions, including to Egypt, and had him forward rather than deliver the letter to England. When TTewodros’s letter arrived in London, it was misplaced for over a year, then sent to the British Foreign Office in India, where it languised for another year .
Thinking the Queen had snubbed him, and hearing that Cameron had gone to visit his antagonistic Muslim neighbors right after he had been entrusted with the letter, Tewodros assumed that he had been doubled-crossed he took Cameron and the rest of the British embassy hostage in a desperate effort to finally gain Queen Victoria’s attention. The British responded by invading Ethiopia and quickly overwhelming the Ethiopian soldiers, most of whom did not have guns. Determined to avoid the humiliation of capture, Tewodros shot himself to death with one of the few guns in the country, a pistol sent to him years before as a gift by queen Victoria of England.”
(Source: The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: Politics By David Borgenicht, Turk Regan)
(Photo: Queen Victoria with Prince Alemayehu, son and apparent heir to Emperor Tewodros)
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