London: On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace announced that it had rejected a request for the return of the remains of an Ethiopian prince who died in the 19th century.
Having lost his mother en route, Prince Alemayehu was taken to England by the British Army when he was seven years old and arrived as an orphan.
He spent the following ten years in Britain, where Queen Victoria was kind to him and helped to arrange for his education before he passed away from pneumonia at the age of 18 in 1879.
He was interred in the catacombs of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the royal residence west of London, reportedly at the request of Queen Victoria.
His family recently told the BBC that they had also asked for the return of his remains, which had previously been requested by Ethiopian leaders to the British royal family.
One of his descendants, Fasil Minas, told the British broadcaster, "We want his remains back as a family and as Ethiopians because that is not the country he was born in."
The prince's burial in the UK, he claimed, "was not right."
In contrast, Buckingham Palace issued a statement regretting that it had not been possible to grant the request due to the need to "preserve the dignity" of others interred at the chapel.
The statement read, "The Dean and Canons of Windsor are very sensitive to the need to honour Prince Alemayehu's memory.
However, they have been informed that it is extremely unlikely that the remains could be exhumed without disturbing the resting place of a significant number of other people nearby.
According to the statement, officials had recently complied with requests from delegations from Ethiopia to visit St. George's and "will continue to do so.