Amha Selassie was the last reigning monarch of Ethiopia. First proclaimed Emperor during the unsuccessful coup attempt by the Imperial Guards against his father Haile Selassie I in December 1960, he initially went along with this proclamation under duress. The coup collapsed within days and the Emperor Haile Selassie was restored. Amha Selassie was again proclaimed on the deposition of his father by the Derg on 12 September 1974, but he never accepted this proclamation as legitimate, and in any case this brief reign was ended with the abolition of the Ethiopian monarchy in March 1975. He was again proclaimed in exile on 8 April 1989. This time he sanctioned the proclamation and accepted its legitimacy.
He was born Asfaw Wossen Taffari, in the walled city of Harar, to Dejazmach Tafari Makonnen, then the governor of Harar and future Emperor of Ethiopia, and his wife Menen Asfaw, on 27 July 1916.
After his accession his full reign name was His Imperial Majesty Emperor Amha Selassie I, Elect of God, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and King of Kings of Ethiopia.