Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan

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Ahmad Shah Khan
  • احمد شاه خان
Shah in 1963
Head of House of Barakzai
Tenure23 July 2007 – 4 June 2024
PredecessorMohammad Zahir Shah
SuccessorPrince Muhammad Zahir Khan
Crown Prince of Afghanistan
Tenure26 November 1942 – 17 July 1973
PredecessorMuhammed Akbar Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Born(1934-09-23)23 September 1934
Arg-i-Shahi, Kabul, Afghanistan
Died4 June 2024(2024-06-04) (aged 89)
Virginia, U.S.
(m. 1961)
IssuePrince Muhammad Zahir Khan
Prince Muhammad Emel Khan
Princess Hawa Khanum
FatherMohammad Zahir Shah
MotherHumaira Begum
ReligionSunni Islam
Styles of
Ahmad Shah
Reference styleHis Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Highness

Ahmad Shah, Crown Prince of Afghanistan (Dari/Pashto/Persian: احمد شاه خان; 23 September 1934 – 4 June 2024) was the second son of Mohammad Zahir Shah, the overthrown King of Afghanistan. He held the title of Head of the House of Barakzai from his father's death in July 2007, until his death in June 2024.



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 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 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 by Mohammad Daoud Khan, a member of the royal family. 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 U.S. state of Virginia and took to writing poetry.[2]

He died on 4 June 2024, at the age of 89. At the time of his death, he was the oldest surviving male heir of the last reigning King of Afghanistan.[3]

Marriage and children


He was married at Chilstoon Palace in Kabul on 22 November 1961 to Princess Khatul Begum (born 1940), daughter of Sardar Muhammad Umar Khan Zikeria, by his wife, Princess Sultana Begum, fourth daughter of Mohammed Nadir Shah, former King of Afghanistan (d. 1933). He had 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)
  • Princess Hawa Khanum (born 27 October 1963)
  • Prince Muhammad Emel Khan (born 1969)




  1. ^ Middle East Economic Digest, page 3
  2. ^ The head that wore the Crown
  3. ^ "شاهزاده احمدشاه، آخرین ولیعهد افغانستان در آمریکا درگذشت". BBC News. 5 June 2024. Archived from the original on 5 June 2024. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan
Born: 23 September 1934 Died: 4 June 2024
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of Afghanistan
23 July 2007 – 4 June 2024
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy overthrown in 1973
Succeeded by