When you think of a fairytale romance, they don’t often start in a nightclub – it’s just not what people tend to go to nightclubs for.
Yett for one American woman, a club in Washington DC was in fact the place where she would find the man who would go on to become her husband – he also happened to be a prince.
33-year-old Ariana Austin, was out with a friend when they were approached by Joel Makonnen in Pearl nightclub in DC.
Little did Ariana know, Joel was in fact Prince Yoel – the great-grandson of Jaile Selassie – the last emperor of Ethipoia, report The New York Times.
Ariana herself is of quite prominent descent, with her maternal grandfather a lord mayor of Georgetown in Guyana.
It would take 12 years from that night for the couple to get married – both having many ambitions they wanted to achieve before they wanted to tie the knot, including achieving degrees before settling into successful careers.
Ariana told The New York Times:
I think we both had this feeling that this was our destiny but I felt like I had things that I had to do.
When the lucky couple first met, Joel didn’t tell Ariana about his royal heritage, which was probably a good move – Ariana was 21 at the time and was in the middle of what she called ‘the summer that never ended’.
Joel approached Ariana and her friend in the club and said they looked like ‘an ad for Bombay Sapphire’ – nice lines – and from that point, Joel knew he was talking to his girlfriend, even telling Ariana as much within five minutes of their meeting.
Describing the wedding ceremony, a friend of the pair, Dhonielle Clayton said:
Two of my favorite humans made it official this weekend. I’ve been waiting for this wedding for ten years.
Austin and I frolicked in Paris chasing James Baldwin in our early twenties, trying to figure out how’d we take over the world with our pens?
She’d just met Makonnen and I remember him visiting us there. They’re the best! Husband and wife, and also, prince and princess, H.I.H Prince Joel Makonnen Haile Selassie and Princess Ariana Makonnen Haile Selassie! Congrats, my loves!
Two of my favorite humans made it official this wknd. I've been waiting for this wedding for ten years. @chezariana and I frolicked in Paris chasing James Baldwin in our early twenties,trying to figure out how'd we take over the world with our pens. She'd just met @jdmakonnen_jd and I remember him visiting us there. They're the best! Husband and wife, and also, prince and princess, H.I.H Prince Joel Makonnen Haile Selassie and Princess Ariana Makonnen Haile Selassie! Congrats, my loves! #arijo
The proposal itself didn’t go quite to plan, when Joel decided to make his way round to Ariana’s house on Valentine’s Day in 2014 with a diamond ring.
However, he was probably a little bit nervous and he knocked a tad too loudly, which caused Ariana to think the house was being robbed so she phoned her parents.
Ariana’s father said:
She thought somebody was trying to break in and it was just the poor guy trying to propose to her.
It was all a dream! Coming down from the wedding high? [email protected] Habeshabrides Shoutout!! ??? Major elelelelelele and congratulations to Habeshabride @chezariana who married her Habesha Prince Charming ??? literally ? H.I.H Haile Selassie's great Grandson tied the knot this weekend! ? by @dotunayodeji planning by ? @favoredbyyodit #Repost @dotunayodeji ・・・ What a beautiful moment! That royal kiss at the exit was priceless!! Today we are shooting the wedding of Prince Joel and his Queen Ariana @chezariana @jdmakonnen_jd Wedding Planner @favoredbyyodit #Arijo #currentsituation #habeshabrides #kaba #orthodox #royalty #habeshawedding
The couple try and help each other in any way they can and work on philanthropic causes together – they’re even thinking about pushing a biopic of Joel’s grandfather forward.
Ariana’s older sister said:
[During the reception] In many ways it feels like this day was written, ever since I have seen them together they always have been connected to each other.
They have a deep-rooted friendship beyond anything else.
It seems like it was meant to happen – congratulations to the happy Prince and Princess!