The Exile Ends: The Return to Afrika
“On 24 June 1940, a fortnight after Italy entered the Second World War as an ally of Hitler’s Germany, under conditions of great secrecy Haile Selassie boarded an RAF Sunderland flying boat in Plymouth, along with his second son, the Duke of Harar, and his two private secretaries Lorenzo Taezaz and Wolde-Giorgis Wolde-Yohannes. To preserve his anonymity, the Ethiopian emperor had been given the alias of ‘Mr. Smith.’
A night flight across Nazi-occupied France took the royal party to the island of Malta. There, they transferred to another flying boat bound for the Egyptian port of Alexandria. After spending a night at the Italian Yacht Club, recently commandeered by the British, the following day Haile Selassie was taken to Cairo to meet Edwin Chapman-Andrews as an old acquaintance of the emperor, having been British vice-consul in Harhar in the years immediately before the Italian invasion. From Cairo, ‘Mr.Smith’ flew on to Wadi Halfa in the Sudan.” Asfa Wossen Asserate, King of Kings pg 144.
The Emperor moved to an old British base in the Sudan, The Pink Palace, where He set up His team to plan His own moves to rally Ethiopians for offensive military action.