Beauty and Politics Brought on Her Misery- Fawzia Fuad of Egypt and Iran
By: Raneem Ghunaim/ Arab America contributing writer Her beauty and her father’s intense involvement in Politics brought on her to her misery. This is the story of Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt and Iran. She was born on November 5, 1921, in Ras el-Tin Palace in Alexandria (Egypt). Princess Fawzia was highly educated. She studied in Switzerland and was fluent in Arabic, French, and English. Aside from the public admiring her as a royal figure, princess Fawiza always saw herself marrying into another royal family. To either become a queen or an empress, eventually, her admiration for that came true. In 1939 she got married to Iran’s Crown Prince Mohamed Reza Pahlavi. It’s said that their marriage was solely based on political and religious union rather than love. In fact, they only met and saw each other only once before getting married.
Princess Fawzia, as mentioned earlier, was a highly educated royal. She was fluent in many languages and was educated at the following: Lycée Janson de Sailly, Paris, France, Institut Le Rosey, a boarding school in Rolle, Switzerland, Sciences Po Strasbourg (IEP Strasbourg), France, National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations, France, and the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, France. According to a couple of sources, Princess Fawzia “worked as a diplomat with the delegation of the Principality of Monaco in the Republic of Austria.
Her marriage was solely based on political and religious union. She was a Sunni royal while her husband Prince Mohamed Reza Pahlavi was Shia. Them getting married was a sign of unity between both sects of Islam. In a way, it was an act to show people that there is no difference, or that there should not be any prejudice towards one or the other. A while after she was crowned Empress of Iran, during her what ended up being a short marriage, she went through many depressive episodes and anorexia crisis.
Life in Tehran, Iran was not easy and was far different than the one she lived in Cairo. She could not live in such poor and undeveloped conditions. In 1945 she ended up going back to Cairo, leaving both her daughter and husband in Iran. Later on, they ended up getting a divorce. However, Princess Fawzia ended up remarrying in 1949 to Colonel Ismail Chirine. Some say it was in fact true love this time, and not politically influenced.
After the 1952 Revolution Princess Fawzia lived in Egypt. Her death was mistakenly reported in January 2005. Journalists had confused her with her niece, (Princess Fawzia Farouk 1940-2005). Fawzia Farouk would be one of the three daughters of King Farouk. As time went by she stayed in Alexandria, Egypt, where she eventually passed away on July 2, 2013. She was 91 when she died. The news was very heavy to many who loved her. Princess Fawzia’s funeral was held at the Sayeda Nafisa Majid in Cario the following day. They buried her in Cairo next to her second husband.
1939: Her marriage to the Iranian Crown Prince in 1939 was more of a political deal. It would consolidate Egyptian power and influence in the Middle East. While bringing respectability to the new Iranian regime by association with the much more prestigious Egyptian royal house.
1944: From 1944 onward, Princess Fawzia was treated for depression by an American psychiatrist. As she stated her marriage was a loveless one and she desperately wanted to go back to Egypt.
1945: Mohammad Reza told the British ambassador in 1945 that his mother was “probably the main obstacle to the return of the Queen”.
1948: Incidentally, Queen Fawzia’s brother, King Farouk, also divorced his first wife, Queen Farida, on November 1948.
1949: Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt married Ismail Chirine on March 28, 1949. their marriage lasted 45 years.
2013: Later on, Princess Faezia lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Where she died on 2 July 2013 at the age of 91.
Check out Arab America’s blog here!