Fawzia Fuad of Egypt (Persian: شاهدخت فوزیه, Turkish: Prenses Fevziye, Arabic: الأميرة فوزية) (5 November 1921 – 2 July 2013) was an Egyptian princess who became Empress of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Fawzia Fuad Of
Full Name at Birth
Princess Fawzia Fuad
Profile Bio Text
Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt and of Iran (Persian: شاهدخت فوزیه Arabic: الأميرة فوزية) (born 5 November 1921) is an Egyptian princess who became Queen of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
She is currently Fawzia Shirin, having remarried in 1949 and having her royal titles no longer recognized by the Egyptian government after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. She is still commonly referred to as princess out of courtesy. She is the oldest member of the deposed Muhammad Ali Dynasty residing in Egypt. Her nephew, Fuad, who was proclaimed King Fuad II of Egypt and Sudan after the Revolution, resides in Switzerland.
She 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. 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 Fathiya, and her brother, Farouk, she had two half-siblings from her father's previous marriage to Princess Shivakiar Khanum Effendi.
Marriages and children
First marriage to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the future Shah
The wedding ceremony of Princess Fawzia and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
From left to right: King Farouk of Egypt (the bride's brother), Princess Fawzia (the bride) and the Crown Prince of Iran (the groom).
Commemoration Medallion of Marriage of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and Princess Fawzia of Egypt - March 1939 - The medallion is now in Sahebgharanie palace in Niavaran Palace complex
Princess Fawzia of Egypt married Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919–1980), the Crown Prince of Iran, at the Abdeen Palace in Cairo, on 16 March 1939; after their honeymoon, the wedding ceremonies were repeated in Tehran. 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.”
With Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi she had one child, a daughter:
HIH Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi (born 27 October 1940)
The marriage was not a success. After the birth of the couple’s daughter, Queen Fawzia (the title of empress was not yet used in Iran at that time) 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. Curiously, Queen Fawzia’s brother, King Farouk, divorced his first wife, Queen Farida, the same week.
In the official announcement of the divorce, it was stated that “the Persian climate had endangered the health of Empress [sic] Fawzia, and that thus it was agreed that the Egyptian King’s sister be divorced.” In another official statement, the Shah said that the dissolution of the marriage “cannot affect by any means the existing friendly relations between Egypt and Iran.”
Second marriage to Colonel Ismail Shirin
Princess Fawzia with 2nd husband Ismail Shirin
On 28 March 1949, in Cairo, Princess Fawzia married Colonel Ismail Shirin Bey (1919–1994), who was the eldest son of Husain Shirin Bey and his wife, HH Princess Amina Bihruz Khanum Effendi. He was a one-time Egyptian Minister of War and the Navy. The couple had two children, one daughter and one son:
Nadia Khanum (December 1950, Cairo - October 2009). She married first (and divorced) Yusuf Shaba’an and second with Mustafa Rashid. She had two daughters, one with her first husband, and another with her second husband:
Sinai (born October 1973, daughter of Yusuf Shaba’an)
Fawzia Rashid (daughter of Mustafa Rashid)
Husain Shirin Effendi (born 1955, Giza)
Princess Fawzia’s death was mistakenly reported in January 2005. Journalists had confused her with her niece, Princess Fawzia Farouk (1940–2005), one of the three daughters of King Farouk. As of 2011 she lives in Alexandria, Egypt.
Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles from birth
Princess Fawzia of Egypt and of Iran
Reference style Her Imperial & Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial & Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
Her Sultanic Highness Princess Fa
Couple Profile Source
Ras el-Tin Palace, Alexandria, Egypt
Place of Death
Fuad I of Egypt
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