Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan

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Ahmad Shah Khan
احمد شاه خان
Crown Prince of Afghanistan
Prince Ahmad Shah.png
1963 portrait
Head of House of Barakzai
Tenure23 July 2007 – present
PredecessorMohammed Zahir Shah
Heir apparentPrince Muhammad Zahir Khan
Born (1934-09-23) 23 September 1934 (age 85)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Khatul Begum (m. 1961)
IssuePrince Muhammad Zahir Khan
Prince Muhammad Emel Khan
Princess Hawa Khanum
FatherMohammed Zahir Shah
MotherHumaira Begum
ReligionSunni Islam
Styles of
Ahmad Shah
Emblem of Afghanistan (1931-1973).svg
Reference styleHis Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Highness
Alternative styleSir
Part of a series on the
History of Afghanistan
"Interior of the palace of Shauh Shujah Ool Moolk, Late King of Cabul"
Related historical names of the region

Ahmad Shah, Crown Prince of Afghanistan (Pashto: احمد شاه خان, born 23 September 1934 in Arg-i-Shahi, Kabul) is the second son of Mohammed Zahir Shah, the former King of Afghanistan. He holds the title of Head of the House of Barakzai since his father's death in 2007.


At the time of his birth he was second in the line of succession to the throne after his older brother Muhammed Akbar Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan. However following the death of his brother on 26 November 1942, he became first in the line of succession and the heir apparent and Crown Prince.

He was educated first at Esteqlal High School, and College of Military Science, in Kabul.

Later he attended the University of Oxford, the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (IEP) and later spent time working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul.

His father's reign ended on 17 July 1973, when he was ousted by a coup with Afghanistan being declared a republic. The Crown Prince was one of fourteen members of the royal family arrested following the coup. He was allowed to leave the country for Rome on 26 July.[1] Following the overthrow of the monarchy, the Crown Prince settled in the state of Virginia, United States and took to writing poetry.[2]

Since the death of his father on 23 July 2007, he is the oldest surviving male heir of the last king of Afghanistan.

Unlike his father, he does not possess the official title "Baba-i-Millet-i-Afghanistan" (Father of the Nation of Afghanistan).

Marriage and children[edit]

He was married at Kabul in 1961 to Princess Khatul Begum, daughter of Sardar Muhammad Umar Khan Zikeria, by his wife, Princess Sultana Begum, fourth daughter of Muhammad Nadir Shah, King of Afghanistan (d. 1933). He has two sons and one daughter:

  • Prince Muhammad Zahir Khan (born 26 May 1962). He married Princess Oshila Begum (b. 1958). They have a daughter:
    • Princess Roxanne Khanum (born 1988).
  • Prince Muhammad Emel Khan (born 1969).
  • Princess Hawa Khanum (born 27 October 1963). She married Sultan Muhammad Nawaz (b. 1963).[citation needed]



  1. ^ Middle East Economic Digest, page 3
  2. ^ The head that wore the Crown
Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan
Born: 23 September 1934
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
King Mohammed Zahir Shah
King of Afghanistan
23 July 2007 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy overthrown in 1973
Prince Muhammad Zahir Khan