Sunday, November 13, 2011

Queen Fawzia

Today I'd like to write about someone who wasn't Iranian but for sure had a role in Iran's history: Queen Fawzia.

If you ask me to name the most beautiful women in the world, one of them is certainly Fawzia Fauad.

Daughter of Malek Fauad, the Egyptian king, she was born in 4 November 1921 in Cairo, Egypt. Malek Faud's family were originally from Albania, and you can see that in their blue eyes and light hair.

Reza Shah, Iran's King at that time decided to choose a wife for his son Muhammad-Reza among Eastern princesses. From all those girls, Muhammad-Reza chose Fawzia.

Soon a Royal group from Iran with Muhammad-Reza Pahlavi left Iran to Egypt, for the courting ceremony and planning  the wedding. The young couple met there and a splendid feast was held.

After a few days Muhammad-Reza, Fawzia and a Egyptian royalty group including Fawzia's Mother and sisters arrived in Iran for the wedding ceremony. The ceremony was very magnificent according to the Life magazine.

Fawzia felt very loney in Tehran. Her best friend was a maid she brought from Cairo, and her little chimp. Tehran was colder than Cairo in winters and it annoyed her. The facilities she had in Cairo wasn't available for her in Tehran. She was also very shy, and didn't like taking part in Royal parties, but Reza Shah liked his daughter-in-law very much, and did his best for his son's bride.

Among all the Pahlavi's family, one person managed to get close to this timid gorgeous girl: Ashraf, Muhammad-Reza's sister. They got very close and intimate. There are some photos of Ashraf and Fawzia standing together.

A year after the wedding, Fawzia, now a beautiful elegant woman, felt she was going to have a baby. Everybody expected this, as Muhammad-Reza was supposed to have a son to inherit his throne in the future.

Nine months later, she gave birth to a healthy beautiful child, but despite the expectations, the baby was a girl. This made Reza Shah angry, and eyebrows in the Royal family were raised, but Muhammad-Reza went to see his wife with flowers and sweets and calmed her down. The baby was named Shahnaz.

The second World War broke out, but Iran remained neuter. However, England felt Reza Shah had a tendency towards Germany, and made him resign. He was ousted and left Iran to live in a small Island in South Africa and his son took power. Fawzia was then the First Lady in Iran.

When the situation became better, Muhammad-Reza crowned and became the king of Iran. At this time Muhammad-Reza was only 22 and Fawzia was 20. Things changed for her after her husband became the King. Reza Shah, her father-in-law wasn't in Iran anymore to protect her and the people in the Palace felt more free to do whatever they liked. 

Also Muhammad-Reza's Mother and sisters felt more jealous towards her after she became the Queen of Iran. She was very beautiful after all and this arouse so much envy. Cecil Beaton, the Life magazine photographer came to Iran for taking photos of the King and the Queen. He resembled Fawzia to Venus, said she is more beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner, the famous beautiful women of those times. Her picture went on the cover of the Life magazine on that year.

This marriage was political. England dictated it to improve Iran-Egypt ties, and when it was observed it was not beneficial anymore, they decided to ruin it. Muhammad-Reza had a clsoe friend called Ernest Prone, who was from Switzerland and was England's spy. It was him who told Fawzia that the King had got secret lovers and sometimes meet some girls. This made Fawzia burn in anger and she drifted apart from him day after day.

With these plans to make the Queen hate the King, Fawzia got more depressed and hopeless in Tehran. She spent most of her time with her daughter Shahnaz alone, until in 1945 she used illness as an excuse to leave Iran to Cairo, Egypt; and didn't return. Three years later she obtained an official divorce in Tehran and went back to her homeland and her daughter Shahnaz remained in Iran to be raised by her father's family. Fawzia reclaimed her distinction of Princess of Egypt after the divorce.

And this was the end of the story. Another chapter was finished in Pahlavi's Royal family. And another one was opened in Fawzia's life: on 28 March 1949, She married Colonel Ismael Shirin Bey, Egypt's Minister of War and the Navy. They had a daughter and the son. 

According to reporters Fawzia is still with us. In 2005 her death was mistakenly reported but she was mistaken for her niece. She is living now in Cairo, Egypt at present. Long Live the Queen!

PS. I wanted to thank the owner of this page on facebook. There are some really beautiful photos of the Queen on there and I used them in this post.


Aszraf said...

amazing woman and her story!thanks Mercede ;)

Mercedé said...

You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

Wow loved this story... Thank you...

Mercedé K said...

You're welcome! I loved the story too

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