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On this Friday of the month of Alahamady 1861, many willows flicker to the south of Ambohimanoa, multiplying rapidly to cover the hills, the pure springs and the surrounding rice fields, then all the heights of Antananarivo. “All those who see them, light a fire, believing that the Queen takes a little bath,” writes R.P. Callet.
Then music notes rises, amplify, accompanied by rumblings of songs, flooding the city, from Isotry to Andohalo. “But all those who, driven by curiosity, seek their source, find nothing. “
On Saturday, Ranavalona I, wondering what all these wilful fires mean, sends emissaries to inquire with the “Olom-baventy” who explain that such a phenomenon, from the memory of man, In Mangabe, west of Ambohimanga, before the great monarch Andrianampoinimerina turned his back.
Some time later the queen, feeling ill, united the Great of the Kingdom and the Officers of the Palace. The objective is to present their successor, “the son of whom I did not give birth, but who came out of my mouth, Radama’s replacement.”
A month later, Ranavalona, ​​still suffering, moves to Ankatso to offer a sacrifice “in order to chase the disease”. On the way back, the agglutinated people see, with great sadness, how badly the evil looks, evil that gets worse from day to day. And already we give many counsels to Prince Rakoto-Radama, to warn him against the malevolence of others and against the “path of darkness that should not be followed”.
On Thursday, the 20th of the month of Asorotany, all the Great of the Kingdom, the women of the Court, the chiefs of clans all over the country meet again at the Palace. When they leave it, watchmen are set up on the ramparts of the Rova, while the people are told to stop gossiping about the kingdom.
A few days later, the senior officers – from the XII honors – were invited to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Prime Minister Rainivoninahitriniony (Raharo). These same partisans of the Crown Prince ascend to the Palace and take an oath between themselves, before strengthening the defense of the Rova and the streets leading to it. Five hundred soldiers are stationed at Andohalo, five hundred at Antsahatsiroa, three hundred at Ambatondrafandrana, three hundred at Ankaditapaka, while one thousand seven hundred remain in reserve in case of alert. We do not know why.
So the people, vulnerable to rumors, panic, packing their most valuable possessions to escape because he believes in an imminent invasion. Meanwhile, Prince Rakoto saddened not to leave his mother’s bedside, forgetting for a time his companions, the Menamaso.
On the night of August 14, 1861, the rain fell, a singular phenomenon in the middle of the cold season. On the morning of the 15th of August, at seven o’clock, the queen turned her back. According to some historians, the date of his death is August 16. The crown prince then moved to Manjakamiadana where he received the commander-in-chief Ravonina-hitrioniony. Ramboasalama, intended to succeed his aunt Ranavalona before Rakoto- was born, believes he is playing his part in feigning to present his oath of allegiance to his cousin, the future king. In fact – and this is the reason for all this deployment of the Army throughout Antananarivo – he is preparing a revolution with Rainijohary, co-prime minister, and Rabosela, chief of the Voromahery. But it was denounced before the coup d’état broke out.
Three days later, Radama II appeared, crowned on his head and dressed in “jaky”, before the Court and the chiefs of clans of the Imerina and pacified territories. All acclaim him with fervor,
“He is as young as he is beautiful.” So young he begins to cry when he sees them!
It is then that Raharo officially announces that “Radamalahimanjaka is the master of the kingdom”, followed by the “God save the king” played by the royal music. The coronation of Radama II takes place in Mahamasina and is the object of an unprecedented splendor, organized by Jean Laborde who installs there, near the Vatomasina, the sacred stone, a superbly decorated platform Like his father Radama Ier- in reality, He is said to be only the great-nephew, he is acquired in modernism. Fundamentally good, his desire for progress announces the opening of an era of rapid development.
But it is also weak and imprudent and some of its decisions are premature: the Lambert Charter which it ratifies, the free admission of all foreign products and especially alcohol at a low price … In short, so many acts that make He alienates the conservative party of the Court, which also reproaches him “the license of his private life”. The latter “strangles it in 1863 with a silk scarf”.