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Tsehaiwork Darge

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Woizero Tsehaiwork Darge was the daughter of Ras Darge Sahle Selassie, Prince of Selale, and granddaughter of Sahle Selassie, King of Shewa. She was a first cousin to Emperor Menelik II. Tsehaiwork was favored by her cousin Menelik and his wife Taytu Betul. She never formally married, but instead administered her vast land holdings herself and allegedly had a male "favorite". She was a formidable and headstrong woman who was greatly feared as a taskmaster by the domestic staff of her father's household, and of the Imperial Palace as well. She helped nurse Emperor Menelik during his long final illness, virtually running the Imperial Palace during those times that Empress Taitu herself was ill. She was also close to the next two rulers of Ethiopia Iyasu V and Empress Zewditu, although she fell into disfavor under Emperor Haile Selassie, and was convicted of plotting to overthrow him in favor of Iyasu. Tseshaiwork was confined to her estates at Selale where she lived out her days.

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