Princess Hirut Desta (also Princess Ruth Desta)[1][2] was the daughter of Ras Desta Damtew and Princess Tenagnework Haile Selassie, and granddaughter of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.[citation needed] She was the widow of General Nega Tegegn, who was governor of the provinces of Begemder and Semien. She was described by Nathaniel T. Kenney as a "trim, most democratic of princesses," who "was not above grabbing a tool from a workman, I suspect, and showing him how to use it."[3]

Princess Hirut Desta
Princess of Ethiopia
Prinses Ruth Desta, de kleindochter van de keizer van Ehtiopië, verricht op de w, Bestanddeelnr 918-9876.jpg
Born(1930-04-20)20 April 1930
Ethiopian Empire
Died2014 (aged 83–84)
SpouseGeneral Nega Tegegn
Immabet Hiruta Mariam
HouseHouse of Solomon
FatherDesta Damtew
MotherPrincess Tenagnework
ReligionEthiopian Orthodox Tewahedo

Princess Hirut was educated at the School of St Clare (renamed Bolitho School), Penzance, Cornwall,[4] and at Clarendon School for Girls, Abergele, North Wales.

She was imprisoned by the Derg from 1974 until 1988. Princess Hirut Desta died in London aged 84 in 2014, and her funeral was conducted at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa.[5]


  • President of the Committee for the Restoration of the Churches of Lalibela.


National honoursEdit



  1. ^ "Princess Tenagneworq" (obituary), in The Telegraph, London, 16 April 2003.
  2. ^ Barbara W. Olson, Gondar, Ethiopia: 1971-1975 Guests in the Ethiopian Highlands and Children of Zemecha, AuthorHouse, 2011, p. 350.
  3. ^ Kenney, "Ethiopian Adventure", National Geographic Magazine, vol. 127 (April 1965), p. 560.
  4. ^ Michael Sagar-Fenton (2017). Penzance in 50 Buildings. Amberley Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 9781445665863.
  5. ^ Fantahun, Arefayné. "Ethiopia's Princess Hirut dies aged 84". Ethiopia Observer. Archived from the original on 2014-12-09.