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Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Iran dies at 91


Princess Fawzia, the first wife of the Shah of Iran and a daughter of King Fuad I of Egypt, has died at the age of 92, according to a member of the former royal family. Her death was reported on social media by her nephew King Fuad II, who was Egypt’s last king before he was deposed in 1953, when Egypt was declared a republic.

Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Iran (5 November 1921 - 2 July 2013)

“The royal family of Egypt announces to the nation that it is mourning the passing of Her Royal Highness Princess Fawzia Fuad, daughter of His Majesty King Fuad I and sister of His Majesty King Faruk I and aunt of his Majesty King Fuad II and the former Empress of Iran...The funeral procession for Her Royal Highness Princess Fawzia will start after noon prayer on Wednesday”

Her relatives have said she will be buried in Cairo.

About Princess Fawzia (source: Wikipedia):

Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt and Iran (5 November 1921 - 2 July 2013) was an Egyptian princess who became Queen of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Princess Fawzia was born Her Sultanic Highness Princess Fawzia bint Fuad at Ras el-Tin Palace in 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 1921. Her maternal great-grandfather was Major-General Muhammad Sharif Pasha, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was of Turkish origin. 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, she had two half-siblings from her father's previous marriage to Princess Shwikar Khanum Effendi.

First marriage:

Princess Fawzia of Egypt married Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980), the then Crown Prince of Iran, at the Abdeen Palace in Cairo on 16 March 1939; after their honeymoon, the wedding ceremonies were repeated in Tehran. The marriage was planned by Mohammad Reza's father. 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."

Princess Fawzia with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

With Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Fawzia had one child, a daughter:
Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi (born 27 October 1940)

The marriage was not a success. After the birth of the couple's daughter, Queen Fawzia obtained an Egyptian divorce in 1945, whereupon she moved to Cairo. 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.

Second marriage:

On 28 March 1949, in Cairo, Princess Fawzia married Colonel Ismail Chirine (1919-1994), who was the eldest son of Husain Chirine Bey and his wife, HH Princess Amina Bihruz Khanum Effendi. He was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge and a one-time Egyptian Minister of War and the Navy. The couple had two children, one daughter and one son.

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