Farida of Egypt

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Queen Farida of Egypt.jpg
Queen consort of Egypt
Tenure 20 January 1938 – 17 November 1948
Born (1921-09-05)5 September 1921
Alexandria, Egypt
Died 16 October 1988(1988-10-16) (aged 67)
Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
Spouse Farouk of Egypt
(m. 1938; div. 1948)
Issue Princess Ferial
Princess Fawzia
Princess Fadia
Full name
Safinaz Zulficar (birth name)
Arabic: صافيناز ذوالفقار‎‎
House House of Muhammad Ali
(by marriage)
Father Youssef Zulficar Pasha
Mother Zainab Sa'id
Religion Islam
Occupation Painter

Queen Farida, born Safinaz Zulficar (5 September 1921 – 16 October 1988) (Arabic: صافيناز ذوالفقار) was the first wife of King Farouk. She was queen of Egypt for nearly eleven years.

Early life and education[edit]

Farida was born on 5 September 1921[1] to an Egyptian noble family in Gianaclis, Alexandria. Her father, judge Youssef Zulficar Pasha, was vice president of the Alexandria Mixed Court of Appeals.[2] Her family was Egyptian Circassian.[3] She had as a maternal grandfather Turkish prime minister Muhammad Said Pasha[4] and was the niece of renowned artist Mahmoud Said. She attended elementary and primary education at Notre Dame de Sion in Alexandria, a school run by French nuns.[5]

Her mother was Zainab Khanum, lady-in-waiting to Queen Nazli.[6]

Marriage and issue[edit]

Farida and King Farouk first met on a royal trip to London in 1937.[3] They were engaged in the summer of 1937.[3] She married King Farouk on 20 January 1938 at Qubba Palace in Cairo, Egypt.[7] She was renamed Farida in accordance with the tradition initiated by King Fuad I that members of the royal family should bear the same initials. She wore a wedding gown designed by The House of Worth in Paris.[8] She had three daughters: HRH Princess Ferial, HRH Princess Fawzia and HRH Princess Fadia. After the birth of a third daughter, Farouk divorced her, on 19 November 1948.[3] King Farouk cared for the first two daughters, while Farida cared for the youngest one after the divorce.[9]

Public role[edit]

Queen Farida was born in a time in which motherhood was the only priority of a woman. The birth of an heir to the throne was especially important. However, due to rising influence of the west, the role of the first lady rose to higher grounds. The first lady became an honorary title bearing with it duties of attending charities, fundraisers, commemorations and receiving foreign dignitaries. Queen Farida accepted chair of the Red Crescent Society and was also honorary president of the Feminist Union and the New Woman Alliance. She was also patron of the Egyptian Girl Guide Company which had an important role in community affairs.[5]

Later life[edit]

Farida stayed in Egypt until 1964,[3] living in Zamalek, a suburb on an island in the Nile.[10] Later she settled in Lebanon where she saw her children after nearly ten years.[11] In March 1965, when King Farouk died in Rome, she and her three daughters visited his body at the morgue.[12] Then, she lived in Paris from 1968 to 1974 until she returned to Egypt in 1974, during the presidency of Anwar Al-Sadat. She remained unmarried after the divorce.[13] During the late 1960s, she began painting.[11] An artist, she had personal exhibitions in Europe and USA. One of her exhibitions was in Cairo in May 1980.[11]


Farida was hospitalized in September 1988 due to several health-problems, including leukemia, pneumonia and hepatitis.[14] On 2 October, she was put in intensive care and then, she lapsed into coma. She died of leukemia on 16 October 1988, aged 67, in Cairo.[14]


  • HRH Princess Ferial (1938–2009).
  • HRH Princess Fawzia (1940–2005).
  • HRH Princess Fadia (1943–2002).


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


  1. ^ "Consorts of Monogamous Egyptian Heads of State". Egy. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Charles Brice, William (1981). An Historical atlas of Islam. BRILL. p. 299. ISBN 90-04-06116-9. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Hassan, Maher (20 January 2010). "Queen Farida, King Farouk's first wife". Egypt Independent. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Goldschmidt, Arthur (2000). Biographical dictionary of modern Egypt. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 178. ISBN 1-55587-229-8. 
  5. ^ a b Raafat, Samir (March 2005). "Egypt's first ladies" (PDF). Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Royal Ark
  7. ^ "Queen Farida hides beauty with veil". The Pittsburgh Press. Cairo. UPI. 21 January 1938. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Hargrove, Rosette (21 January 1938). "Dressed to the King's taste". The Telegraph Herald. Paris. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ex-queen Farida of Egypt". The Indian Express. Cairo. 22 November 1948. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Former Queen pens message to Farouk". Reading Eagle. 20 January 1952. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Balouny, Lisette (31 May 1980). "Queen Farida living in dignified exile". The Day. Cairo. AP. p. 20. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Cold, lonely end comes to Farouk". Lodi News Sentinel. Rome. UPI. 20 March 1965. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Queen Farida of Egypt Dies at 68". The New York Times. 17 October 1988. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  14. ^ a b "Ex-Queen Farida of Egypt; First Wife of King Farouk". Los Angeles Times. 17 October 1988. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c The Muhammad 'Ali Dynasty Royal Ark
  16. ^ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f3/ae/35/f3ae3571e10d5ca1424ce7403604f322.jpg
  17. ^ http://vid.alarabiya.net/images/2014/01/24/4bafc3c8-986b-4136-914e-3c77497a724c/4bafc3c8-986b-4136-914e-3c77497a724c.png
  18. ^ a b 40.media.tumblr.com, Farida Zulficar (right) at the Greek Royal Wedding
  19. ^ http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2127/2039921317_f844ea415c.jpg
  20. ^ http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/queen-farida-of-egypt-in-her-wedding-dress-news-photo/105217448
  21. ^ https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/162/431648460_192cd72067_b.jpg
  22. ^ https://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7ezvk5FmL1qg2128o1_500.jpg

External links[edit]

Egyptian royalty
Title last held by
Nazli Sabri
Queen consort of Egypt
Title next held by
Narriman Sadek