Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Weds Princess Fawzia of Egypt

Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Weds Princess Fawzia of Egypt ... 15/03/1939 History

Keywords:#1979_Revolution, #Abbas_Milani, #Afghanistan, #American, #Arabic, #Ardeshir, #Ardeshir_Zahedi, #Ashraf, #Ashraf_Pahlavi, #Atatürk, #Baghdad, #Britain, #British, #CIA, #Cairo, #Caspian, #Caspian_Sea, #Children, #Crown_Prince, #Egypt, #Egyptian, #Fawzia_Fuad_of_Egypt, #French, #Germany, #Golestan, #Honda, #Iran, #Iranian, #Iranian_Army, #Iranian_Embassy, #Iranian_Revolution, #Iranian-American, #Iraq, #Islamic, #Jordan, #Khan, #King_Faisal, #Marble_Palace, #Middle_East, #Mohammad_Reza_Pahlavi, #Mohammad_Reza_Shah, #Muluk, #Muslim, #Mustafa_Kemal_Atatürk, #Pahlavi, #Pahlavis, #Paris, #Parseed,, #Persian, #President, #Princess_Fawzia_Fuad_of_Egypt, #Pyramids, #Revolution, #Reza_Khan, #Reza_Pahlavi, #Reza_Shah, #September, #Shah, #Shah_of_Iran, #Shahnaz, #Shia, #Sunni, #Switzerland, #Tehran, #Turkey, #Turkish, #United_States, #University, #Venus, #Zahedi

One of the main initiatives of Iranian and Turkish foreign policy had been the Saadabad pact of 1937, an alliance bringing together Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, with the intent of creating a Muslim bloc that, it was hoped, would deter any aggressors. President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk of Turkey suggested to his friend Reza Khan during the latter's visit to Turkey that a marriage between the Iranian and Egyptian courts would be beneficial for the two countries and their dynasties, as it might lead to Egypt joining the Saadabad pact. In line with this suggestion, Mohammad Reza and Princess Fawzia married. Dilawar Princess Fawzia of Egypt (5 November 1921 – 2 July 2013), a daughter of King Fuad I of Egypt and Nazli Sabri, was a sister of King Farouk I of Egypt. They married on 15 March 1939 in the Abdeen Palace in Cairo. Reza Shah did not participate in the ceremony. During his visit to Egypt, Mohammad Reza was greatly impressed with the grandeur of the Egyptian court as he visited the various palaces built by the Isma'il Pasha, aka "Isma'il the Magnificent", the famously free-spending Khedive of Egypt, and resolved that Iran needed palaces to match those built by Isma'il.
Mohammad Reza's marriage to Fawzia produced one child, a daughter, Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi (born 27 October 1940). Their marriage was not a happy one as the Crown Prince was openly unfaithful, often being seen driving around Tehran in one of his expensive cars with one of his girlfriends. Mohammad Reza's dominating and extremely possessive mother saw her daughter-in-law as a rival to her son's love, and took to humiliating Princess Fawzia, whose husband sided with his mother. A quiet, shy woman, Fawzia described her marriage as miserable, feeling very much unwanted and unloved by the Pahlavi family and longing to go back to Egypt. In his 1961 book Mission For My Country, Mohammad Reza wrote the "only happy light moment" of his entire marriage to Fawzia was the birth of his daughter.
Fawzia Fuad of Egypt (Arabic: الأميرة فوزية فؤاد‎; Persian: شاهدخت فوزیه فؤاد‎; 5 November 1921 – 2 July 2013), also known as Muluk Fawzia of Iran, was an Egyptian princess who became Queen of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Fawzia was the daughter of Fuad I, seventh son of Ismail the Magnificent. Her marriage to the Iranian Crown Prince in 1939 was 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. It was never a love-match, and Fawzia obtained an Egyptian divorce in 1945 (not recognised in Iran till 1948), under which their one daughter Princess Shahnaz would be brought up in Iran.
In 1949, Fawzia re-married Colonel Ismail Chirine, an Egyptian diplomat, with whom she would have a son and a daughter.
The marriage of Princess Fawzia to Iran's Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was planned by the latter's father, Rezā Shāh. A declassified CIA report in May 1972 described the union as a political move. The marriage was also significant in that it united a Sunni royal, the Princess, and a Shia royal, the Crown Prince. The Pahlavis were a parvenu house as Reza Khan, the son of a peasant who entered the Iranian Army as a private, rising up to become a general, had seized power in a 1921 coup, and he was most anxious to have the House of Pahlavi married to the House of Ali, who had reigned over Egypt since 1805.
The Egyptians were not impressed with the gifts sent by Reza Khan to King Farouk as to persuade him to marry his sister to Mohammad Reza, and when an Iranian delegation arrived in Cairo to arrange the marriage, the Egyptians took the Iranians on a tour of the palaces built by Isma'il Pasha, known as "Isma'il the Magnificent", to show them proper royal splendor. King Farouk was not initially interested in marrying off his sister to the Crown Prince of Iran, but Aly Maher Pasha, the king's favorite political adviser, persuaded him that a marriage alliance with Iran would improve Egypt's position within the Islamic world and against Britain. At the same time, Maher Pasha was working on plans to marry off Farouk's other sisters to King Faisal II of Iraq and to the son of Emir Abdullah of Jordan, planning on forging an Egyptian-dominated bloc in the Middle East. To prepare for life in Iran, Fawzia was assigned a tutor to teach her Persian.
Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi were engaged in May 1938. However, they saw each other only once before their wedding. They married at the Abdeen Palace in Cairo on 15 March 1939. King Farouk took the couple on a tour of Egypt, showing them the Pyramids, Al-Azhar University, and other famous sites in Egypt. The contrast between the Crown Prince Mohammad Reza, dressed in a simple uniform of an Iranian officer vs. the lavish opulence of the Egyptian court, with the famously free-spending Farouk who wore expensive suits was much remarked upon at the time. After the wedding, King Farouk had a twenty course meal to celebrate the wedding at the Abdeen Palace. At the time Mohammad Reza lived in awe of his overbearing father, Reza Khan, and was dominated by Farouk, who was considerably more self-confident. Afterwards, Fawzia departed for Iran together with her mother, Queen Nazli, on a train trip that saw the electricity break down several times, causing the two women to feel like they were going on a camping trip.
When they returned to Iran the wedding ceremony was repeated at Marble Palace, Tehran, which was also their future residence. As Mohammad Reza spoke no Turkish (one of the languages of the Egyptian elite, the other being French) and Fawzia was described as being only "competent" in Persian, the two talked to each in French, which both were fluent in. Upon arriving in Tehran, Reza Khan had the main streets of Tehran decorated with banners and arches, and had a celebration at the Amjadiye stadium attended by 25,000 of the Iranian elite with synchronized acrobatics by students being followed by bastani (Iranian calisthenics), fencing, and football. The wedding dinner was a French-style dinner with "caviar from the Caspian Sea", "Consommé Royal", fish, fowl and lamb. Fawzia disliked Reza Khan, whom she described as a violent and thuggish man prone to attacking people with either his whip or riding crop. In contrast to the French food she had grown up with in Egypt, Princess Fawzia found the food at the Iranian court sub-par. In the same way, Fawzia found that the palaces of Iran could not compared to the palaces that she had grown up in Egypt.
Following the marriage, the Princess was granted Iranian nationality. 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." She led the newly founded Association for the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children (APPWC) in Iran.
With Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi she had one child, a daughter:
HIH Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi (born 27 October 1940).
The marriage was a failure. Fawzia was deeply unhappy in Iran, and often missed her homeland of Egypt. Fawzia's relations with her mother-in-law and her sisters-in-law were notably tempestuous as the Queen Mother and her daughters saw her as a rival for Mohammad Reza's affections, and the women constantly feuded with each other. One of Mohammad Reza's sisters broke a vase over Fawzia's head. The womanizing Mohammad Reza was frequently unfaithful to Fawzia, and was often seen driving around with other women in Tehran from 1940 onward. Popular rumor had it that Fawzia for her part had an affair with her minder, described as an athletic, handsome man, though her friends insist that this was merely malicious gossip. Fawzia's son-in-law, Ardeshir Zahedi told the Iranian-American historian Abbas Milani in a 2009 interview about the rumors: "She is a lady and never veered from the path of purity and fidelity". From 1944 onward, 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.
Queen Fawzia (the title of empress was not yet used in Iran at that time) moved to Cairo in May 1945 and obtained an Egyptian divorce. The reason for her return was that she viewed Tehran as underdeveloped in contrast to modern, cosmopolitan Cairo. She consulted an American psychiatrist in Baghdad for her troubles shortly before she left Tehran. On the other hand, CIA reports claim that Princess Fawzia ridiculed and humiliated the Shah due to his supposed impotence, leading to their separation. In her book Ashraf Pahlavi, twin sister of the Shah, argues that it was the Princess not the Shah who asked for divorce. Fawzia left Iran for Egypt, and despite numerous attempts on the part of the Shah to persuade her to return, she remained put in Cairo. Mohammad Reza told the British ambassador in 1945 that his mother was "probably the main obstacle to the return of the Queen".
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. Incidentally, Queen Fawzia’s brother, King Farouk, also divorced his first wife, Queen Farida, in November 1948.
In the official announcement of the divorce, it was stated that "the Persian climate had endangered the health of Empress 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." After her divorce Princess Fawzia headed the Egyptian court.
Shahnaz Pahlavi (Persian: شهناز پهلوی‎, born 27 October 1940) is the first child of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and his first wife, Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt.
Her first marriage, at age sixteen, was to Ardeshir Zahedi on 11 October 1957, at Golestan Palace in Tehran. He was one-time Iranian foreign minister and twice Iranian ambassador to the United States (1957–64 and 1972–79). Zahedi and she first met in Germany in 1955. The couple have one daughter, Princess (styled "Vala Gohari") Zahra Mahnaz Zahedi (born 2 December 1958 in Tehran). They divorced in 1964.
Shahnaz later married Khosrow Jahanbani in February 1971 at the Iranian Embassy, Paris. Their marriage lasted until Jahanbani's death in April 2014. They have one son, Keykhosrow (born 20 November 1971), and one daughter, Fawzia (born 1973).
During her father's reign, Shahnaz had investments in agricultural enterprises and assembly plants of Honda bicycles and motorcycles.
After the 1979 Revolution
Since the Iranian Revolution Shahnaz Pahlavi has lived in Switzerland.
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