An American woman Ariana Austin, now 33, was on a night out in Washington DC nightclub,with a friend when they were approached by Joel Makonnen in the Pearl.
“I said: ‘You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire’,” he said about their first encounter.
“Not even five minutes later I said: ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend’.”
What he didn’t reveal that night 12-years ago, was that plain old Joel was actually Prince Joel, the great-grandson of Haile Selassie I, Ethiopia’s last emperor.
But after the couple started dating seriously, Mr Makonnen, who works as a lawyer, eventually revealed his royal heritage
His father had escaped the bloodshed in his homeland because he was studying abroad at the time. The family subsequently settled in Switzerland.
Mr Makonnen is related to Haile Selassie I through the emperor’s second son Prince Makonnen.
The royal family traces its roots back to the Biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
The pair married in a lavish Ethiopian Orthodox Christian wedding with 13 priests, two crowns and a pair of capes on 9 September.