Posts claim to show an image of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, bowing before Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen Asfaw. The claim is false, as the photo was taken in 1955, ten years before the queen and duke made their first royal visit to Ethiopia.
Examples of posts sharing the photo and making the claim can be found here , here and here .
The photo in question, provided here by Getty Images, has the following caption: “Ethiopia Essay Haile Selassie with his wife greeting guests, Ethiopia, 1955 (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images).”
The two individuals bowing before the Ethiopian emperor and empress are not identified, but they could not be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, as their first visit to Ethiopia did not happen for another ten years. As reported here in the New York Times on Feb. 2, 1965, the queen’s eight-day trip to the East African nation was “the first formal call on Ethiopia by any British monarch.”
Ahead of the trip, The Guardian reported that “the state visit [was] being made in return for one paid to London by the Emperor when Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minister ten years ago. Britain was also host to the Emperor and his family while he fretted out four years of exile in a country house near Bath” (here).
As reported here by the BBC, the Ethiopian emperor came to Britain as a refugee following the 1935 invasion and subsequent occupation of his homeland by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s fascist forces.
Empress Menen Asfaw, Selassie’s wife who is shown in the 1955 photo, died in 1962, three years before the queen and duke came to Ethiopia for the first time (here).
It is therefore not possible that the photo shows Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, bowing before the emperor and empress.
Getty images of the queen and duke with the Ethiopian emperor during their 1965 visit can be found here , here , here , here , here and here .
Provided by British Pathé, a technicolor “film record of the Queen and Duke's visit to Ethiopia” is available here .
False. This image of two unidentified guests greeting Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen Asfaw does not show Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The photo was taken 10 years before the British royal visit to Ethiopia.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.