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1977 - Coronation of Emperor Bokassa

1977 Coronation Emperor Bokassa_min.JPG

Title: 1977 - Coronation of Emperor Bokassa

About:  The head of state of the Central African Republic proclaimed himself 'emperor of the nation' and threw a lavish ceremony designed to earn the world's respect (...only it didn't).


Jean-Bédel Bokassa was a military officer who rose to power following a coup in 1966. But being President wasn’t enough for hoim, so in 1976 he decided he'd like to beocme an emperor instead. Bokassa attempted to justify his actions by claiming that creating a monarchy would help Central Africa “stand out” from the rest of the continent,


The coronation was a folie de grandeur for which Bokassa will always be remembered. The cost of the lavish two-day ceremony totalled around $25 million. and included a gold-plated throne, designer jewelry and robes, an antique carriage pulled by 8 white horses, a fleet of 60 Mercedes Benz for international guests plus 24,000 bottles of champagne. 

This was an enormous sum considering the state of the national economy, approximating one-quarter of the empire’s annual budget.

As preparations progressed, Bokassa’s major concern was to ensure a respectable turnout of international dignitaries. His fellow emperors, Japan’s Hirohito and Iran’s Shah Reza Pahlavi, were the first to be invited, but they declined. The rest of the world’s reigning monarchs were also on the official guest list, and one by one they too refused, as did the president's of all the nations invited.

Bokassa had wanted to be noticed, and the world press diligently reported his moment of glory, though without the accolades or acclaim that he expected. His crowned image was flashed around the globe, usually accompanied by mocking commentary.

Decade: 1970s

Year: 1977

Region: Africa

Country: Central African Republic

Politics: Leadership 

Society: Culture

Type: Historical Event

Impact: 1

Artist: Bryan Willian


Group: Genesis

Number: 77/100

Price: 0.1 ETH


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