When we meet our one and only, we can find it hard to believe that they might keep secrets from us by the time that we get married. Sometimes, though, secrets are kept because it can cause great uncertainty and dismay – and for good reason.
When Ariana Austin met Joel Makonnen in the 00s, they were immediately besotted by one another. However, what Ariana did not know was that her new man was actually a part of the Ethiopian Royal Family!
They met just before he turned 22 years old, and soon became hugely interested in one another. Despite not expecting it to be too serious, they hit it off and things moved very quickly for the happy couple. Makonnen, though, felt a little more inclined to believe that they were meant to be.
“Within five minutes, I said, ‘You’ll be my girlfriend.’” Joel explained, “It was more like an assertive question, I just had a really good chemistry with her right away. I felt like I already knew her.”
However, his ‘cover’ was blown relatively quickly.
“We were with some friends … and one of my friends brought it up and said, ‘You know, you’re lucky. Your boyfriend is a prince! And I always kind of like had my own way to introduce it, but he just put it out there and I kind of laughed it off.”
It turns out that Joel is the great grandson of the famous Haile Selassie!
However, it never got to her and she never treated him any differently.
“She kind of got it right away in the most respectful sense, where she was like, ‘Wow don’t shrug. It’s a big deal. I’m really impressed and it’s amazing.’” Joel explained.
They got married in September 2017 in front of 300 guests at the plush Debre Genet Medane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Temple Hills, Maryland. However, Joel and Ariana were clear that they just wanted to live a normal, happy life together and avoid any excessive fanfare or uncertainty.
”It feels pretty weighty but I’m excited, it’s the world’s oldest monarchy and there’s just something pretty powerful about that. Of course I’m happy to be a part of it and I hope I can … be of service and take all this good will and all this good energy and just turn it back and do good work in our countries.” Ariana said.
How would you react to finding out that you were with royalty? Would you be excited?