Most women don’t expect to meet their husbands in a nightclub–let alone a prince.
But that’s exactly what happened to Ariana Austin.
The educator and philanthropist met her now-husband, legal analyst and Ethiopian prince Joel Makonnen, while out kicking it in Washington, D.C. back in 2005
In an article published in The New York Times, the couple shared the story of how they met at Pearl nightclub 12 years ago.
Makonnen, who is known as Prince Yoel, approached Austin and a friend of hers once he spotted her in the club.
“I said, ‘You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire,’ or whatever the gin was,” he recalled. “Not even five minutes later I said, ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend.’ ”
The two began dating a short while later, and for some time, Makonnen kept his royal status a secret–much like Eddie Murphy’s character Prince Akeem in the 1988 hit film Coming to America.
Makonnen, 35, is the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. His mother gave birth to him while his parents were in Rome, where they lived in exile.
“I think I said, ‘Let’s take this journey together,’” Makonnen said in reference to the moment when he popped the question. “When I proposed, she was like, ‘It’s about time.’”
Well it looks like Austin got her prince, just like in a fairy tale. The couple married last month in a lavish ceremony at an Ethiopian Orthodox churh in Maryland.