Fawzia Fuad of Egypt

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Fawzia Fuad
Princess of Egypt and Iran
Princess Fawzia bint Fuad of Egypt.jpg
Queen consort of Iran
Tenure 16 September 1941 – 17 November 1948
Spouse Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
(m. 1939–div. 1948)
Ismail Chirine (or Shirin)
(m. 1949–d. 1994)
Issue Shahnaz Pahlavi
Nadia Chirine
Hussein Chirine
Full name
English: Fawzia Fuad
Arabic: فوزية فؤاد
Persian: فوزيه فؤاد
House Muhammad Ali dynasty (by birth)
Pahlavi dynasty (by marriage)
Father Fuad I of Egypt
Mother Nazli Sabri
Born (1921-11-05)5 November 1921
Ras el-Tin Palace, Alexandria, Egypt
Died 2 July 2013(2013-07-02) (aged 91)
Alexandria, Egypt
Burial Cairo, Egypt

Fawzia Fuad of Egypt (Persian: شاهدخت فوزیه‎, Turkish: Prenses Fevziye, Arabic: الأميرة فوزية‎) (5 November 1921 – 2 July 2013) was an Egyptian princess who became Queen of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

She is also known as Fawzia Chirine (or Shirin), having remarried in 1949. Although her royal titles were no longer recognized by the Egyptian government after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 international protocol dictates that former monarchs and members of former ruling royal families still retain titles obtained whilst a member of a reigning monarchy. She was the oldest member of the deposed Muhammad Ali Dynasty of Albanian descent residing in Egypt. Her nephew, Fuad, who was proclaimed King Fuad II of Egypt and Sudan after the Revolution, resides in Switzerland.

Early life and education[edit]

Princess Fawzia was born Her Sultanic Highness Princess Fawzia bint Fuad at Ras el-Tin Palace, Alexandria, the eldest daughter of Sultan Fuad I of Egypt and Sudan (later King Fuad I), and his second wife, Nazli Sabri on 5 November 1920.[1] Her maternal great-grandfather was Major-General Muhammad Sharif Pasha, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was of Turkish origin.[2] One of her great-great-grandfathers was Suleiman Pasha, a French army officer who served under Napoleon, converted to Islam, and oversaw an overhaul of the Egyptian army.

In addition to her sisters, Faiza, Faika, and Fathia, and her brother, Farouk,[3] she had two half-siblings from her father's previous marriage to Princess Shwikar Khanum Effendi. Princess Fawzia was educated in Switzerland[1] and was fluent in English and French in addition to her native Arabic.[4]

Her looks were often compared to movie stars Hedy Lamarr and Vivien Leigh.[5]

Marriages and children[edit]

First marriage[edit]

The marriage of Princess Fawzia to Iran's Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was planned by the latter's father, Rezā Shāh.[6][7] A declassified CIA report in May 1972 described the union as a political move.[8] On the other hand, the marriage was significant in that it united a Sunni royal, the Princess, and a Shia royal, the Crown Prince.[9]

Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi were engaged in May 1938.[10][11] However, they saw each other only once before their wedding.[12] They married at the Abdeen Palace in Cairo on 15 March 1939.[9][13] When they returned to Iran the wedding ceremony was repeated at Marble Palace, Tehran, which was also their future residence.[4][12]

Following the marriage, the Princess was granted Iranian nationality.[14] Two years later the crown prince succeeded his exiled father and was to become the Shah of Iran. Soon after her husband’s ascent to the throne, Queen Fawzia appeared on the cover of the 21 September 1942, issue of Life magazine, photographed by Cecil Beaton, who described her as an "Asian Venus" with "a perfect heart-shaped face and strangely pale but piercing blue eyes."[13] She led the newly founded Association for the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children (APPWC) in Iran.[15]

With Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi she had one child, a daughter:[16]

The marriage was not a success. Queen Fawzia (the title of empress was not yet used in Iran at that time) moved to Cairo in May 1945[18] and obtained an Egyptian divorce. The reason for her return was that she viewed Tehran underdeveloped in contrast to modern, cosmopolitan Cairo.[19][20] In addition, she had difficult times due to infidelity of the shah and suffered malaria and depression.[21] She consulted an American psychiatrist in Baghdad for her troubles shortly before she left Tehran.[18] On the other hand, CIA reports claim that Princess Fawzia ridiculed and humiliated the Shah due to his impotence, leading to their separation.[20] In her book Ashraf Pahlavi, twin sister of the Shah, argues that it was the Princess not the Shah who asked for divorce.[12]

This divorce was first not recognized for several years by Iran, but eventually an official divorce was obtained in Iran, on 17 November 1948, with Queen Fawzia successfully reclaiming her previous distinction of Princess of Egypt as well. A major condition of the divorce was that her daughter be left behind to be raised in Iran.[22] Incidentally, Queen Fawzia’s brother, King Farouk, also divorced his first wife, Queen Farida, in November 1948.[22][23]

In the official announcement of the divorce, it was stated that “the Persian climate had endangered the health of Empress Fawzia, and that thus it was agreed that the Egyptian King’s sister be divorced.” In another official statement, the Shah said that the dissolution of the marriage “cannot affect by any means the existing friendly relations between Egypt and Iran.”[24] After her divorce Princess Fawzia headed the Egyptian court.[19]

Gallery[edit]

Second marriage[edit]

Princess Fawzia with Ismail Shirin.

On 28 March 1949, at the Koubba Palace in Cairo, Princess Fawzia married Colonel Ismail Chirine (or Shirin) (1919–1994), who was the eldest son of Husain Chirine Bey and his wife, HH Princess Amina Bihruz Khanum Effendi.[25][26] He was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge and a one-time Egyptian minister of war and the navy. Following the wedding they lived in an estate owned by the Princess in Maadi, Cairo.[26][27] They also resided in a villa in Smouha, Alexandria.[28]

They had two children, one daughter and one son:[29]

  • Nadia Khanum (19 December 1950, Cairo[30] – October 2009). She married first (and divorced) Yusuf Shabaan, an Egyptian actor,[28] and second with Mustafa Rashid. She had two daughters, one with her first husband, and another with her second husband:
    • Sinai Shabaan (born October 1973)[28]
    • Fawzia Rashid
  • Husain Chirine Effendi (born 1955, Giza)

Later life and death[edit]

Fawzia lived in Egypt after the 1952 revolution that toppled King Farouk.[31] Princess Fawzia’s death was mistakenly reported in January 2005. Journalists had confused her with her niece, Princess Fawzia Farouk (1940–2005), one of the three daughters of King Farouk. In her later life, Princess Fawzia lived in Alexandria, Egypt, where she died on 2 July 2013 at the age of 91.[1][32] Funeral ceremony was held after noon prayers at Sayeda Nafisa Mosque in Cairo on 3 July.[33] She was buried in Cairo next to her second husband.[13]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles and styles from birth[edit]

Styles of
Princess Fawzia of Egypt and of Iran
Imperial Coat of Arms of Iran.svg
Reference style Her Imperial & Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial & Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
  • Her Sultanic Highness Princess Fawzia of Egypt (1921–1922)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Fawzia of Egypt (1922–1939, 1949–1952)
  • Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Fawzia of Egypt and of Iran (15–16 March 1939) (a day before her first marriage she was granted the title Shahdokht (Princess) with style Imperial Highness)
  • Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Iran, Princess of Egypt (1939–1941)
  • Her Imperial Majesty The Queen of Iran (1941–1948)
  • Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Iran (1948–1949)
  • Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Iran, Mrs Shirin (1952–1994)
  • Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Iran, Dowager Mrs Shirin (1994–2013)

Honours[edit]

Legacy[edit]

A town in Egypt, Fawziabad, was named for Princess Fawzia in 1939.[4] A street in Maadi, Cairo, was again named for her in 1950 as Amira Fawzia street, but in 1956 it was renamed as Mustafa Kamel street.[34]

Ancestry[edit]

Princess Fazia was of Albanian, Circassian, and French descent; the Egyptian royal family is not ethnically Egyptian. Princess Fawzia was a member of the Muhammad Ali dynasty, a family of Albanian origin.[35][36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt". The Telegraph. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Goldschmidt, Arthur (2000). Biographical dictionary of modern Egypt. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 191. ISBN 1-55587-229-8. 
  3. ^ "Nazli". A Bit of History. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Colorful Fetes Mark Royal Wedding that will Link Egypt and Persian". The Meriden Daily Journal. 13 March 1939. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  5. ^ The New York Times
  6. ^ Camron Michael Amin (1 December 2002). The Making of the Modern Iranian Woman: Gender, State Policy, and Popular Culture, 1865-1946. University Press of Florida. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-8130-3126-2. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Pahlavi Dynasty". Royal Ark. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Centers of Power in Iran". CIA. May 1972. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Princess Fawzia of Egypt Married". The Meriden Daily Journal (Cairo). AP. 15 March 1939. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Charmody, Diedre (27 July 1973). "Nixon forth to see Shah". The Leader Post (New York). Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Rizk, Yunan Labib (2–8 March 2006). "Royal mix". Al Ahram Weekly (784). Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Earlier Marriages Ended In Divorce. Deposed Shah of Iran". The Leader Post. AP. 29 July 1980. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c Ghazal, Rym (8 July 2013). "A forgotten Egyptian Princess remembered". The National. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Kashani-Sabet, Firoozeh (2011). Conceiving Citizens: Women and the Politics of Motherhood in Iran. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 71.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  15. ^ Kashani-Sabet, Firoozeh (2011). Conceiving Citizens: Women and the Politics of Motherhood in Iran. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 113.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  16. ^ Dagres, Holly (4 February 2013). "When they were friends: Egypt and Iran". Ahram Online. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Jeffrey Lee (1 April 2000). Crown of Venus. Universe. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-595-09140-9. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Iran and its playboy king". The Milwaukee Journal. Time Magazine. 9 January 1946. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Steyn, Mark (5 July 2013). "The Princess and the Brotherhood". National Review Online. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Anderson, Jack; Les Whitten (11 July 1975). "CIA: Shah of Iran a dangerous ally". St. Petersburg Times (Washington). Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  21. ^ Morgan, Thad (11 July 2013). "Does Vivien Leigh Look Like Princess Fawzia?". Bio. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Queens Lack Male Heirs, Lose Mates". Pittsburgh Post Gazette (Cairo). AP. 19 November 1948. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  23. ^ Bernard Reich (1 January 1990). Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-313-26213-5. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "2 Moslem Rulers let the man and wife divorce if they need to", The New York Times, 20 November 1948, page 1.
  25. ^ "Princess Fawzia engaged". The Indian Expree. 28 March 1949. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Princess Fawzia weds diplomat". Meriden Record. 29 March 1949. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Maadi's Ottomans". Egy. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  28. ^ a b c Sami, Soheir (4–10 June 1998). "Profile: Youssef Shaaban". Al Ahram Weekly (380). Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "Shah's ex-wives keep low profiles in Egypt, Europe". The Palm Beach Post. AP. 28 July 1980. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  30. ^ "Girl is born to Princess Fawzia". Pittsburgh Post Gazette (Cairo). AP. 20 December 1950. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  31. ^ "Shah’s first wife Princess Fawzia dies in Egypt". Dawn. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  32. ^ "Princess Fawzia, Shah's first wife, dies in Egypt". Reuters. 
  33. ^ "Death of Princess Fawzia". Alroeya News. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  34. ^ "Maadi Street Names". Egy. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  35. ^ In the house of Muhammad Ali: a family album, 1805–1952 By Hassan Hassan
  36. ^ "Tale of 1001 Royal Egyptian Nights, Princess Fawzia of Egypt once Queen of Iran". Travel in style. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  37. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, ed. (1980). "The French Ancestry of King Farouk of Egypt". Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume II: Africa & the Middle East. London: Burke's Peerage. p. 287. ISBN 978-0-85011-029-6. OCLC 18496936. 

External links[edit]

Fawzia Fuad of Egypt
Born: 5 November 1921 Died: 2 July 2013
Iranian royalty
Preceded by
Tadj ol-Molouk
Queen consort of Iran
1941–1948
Vacant
Title next held by
Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari