Her beauty was so unusual and striking that the famous photographer Cecile Beaton called her nothing more than "the Asian blue-eyed Venus." She looked like a Hollywood star and, thanks to her French roots, looked European, she was even confused with Vivien Leigh. Fawzia Fuad, the last princess of Egypt went down in history not only as one of the most spectacular oriental beauties, but also as a woman who voluntarily renounced life at the Iranian royal court, a high title and other attributes of a luxurious life. And she never regretted it, because in return she received no less.
Fawzia was the eldest daughter of the Egyptian king Fuad and Queen Nazli, Albanian, French and Circassian blood flowed in her veins. One of her ancestors, a French officer who served under Napoleon, converted to Islam and stayed in Egypt. Obviously, Fawzia owed him a European appearance. She was educated in Switzerland and was fluent in French and English.
Upon returning to Egypt after studying in Europe, the princess was again faced with the need to observe local traditions, which in many respects limit her freedom. The Egyptian courtier and writer Adil Thabit described this period of her life in the following way: “In those days Fawzia was a prisoner in the maternal household … She rarely went out for walks, and in those few hours when it happened, she was always accompanied by maids of honor and servants. At a time when other young girls enjoyed relative freedom, Fawzia, due to her social status, was constrained in everything."
At the age of 17, Fawzia was married to the Iranian prince Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, whom she saw only once before the wedding. Two years later, in 1941, he ascended the throne, and Fawzia became Queen of Iran. Soon she starred in a photo shoot for Life magazine, and after her photo appeared on the cover, the whole world started talking about the beauty of "Asian blue-eyed Venus", she was called one of the most beautiful women of the era.
However, a happy life of abundance and luxury was not cloudless. Soon after marriage, Fawzia found herself under the total control of her father-in-law, whose authoritarian power extended not only to the country, but also to their family. The father-in-law forbade her to contact her relatives, all the servants and things brought from Egypt were sent back. The husband was rarely at home, relations with him soured after Fawzia found out about his love affairs.
And then the woman made a decision that became unprecedented for the countries of the East, especially for the royal families: she was the first to file for divorce and returned to Egypt. The official reason for the divorce in Iran was called the fact that Fawzia failed to give the king an heir. She had to leave her 8-year-old daughter in her husband's family.
A year later, Fawzia married again, to the colonel of the Egyptian army Ismail Shirin. The country was ruled by her brother Farouk, and for a while she could again enjoy a secure and carefree life. But in 1952 there was a revolution in Egypt, General Abdel Nasser came to power. The king fled the country, but his sister and her family decided to stay, although she was deprived of all titles and privileges.
Fawzia was once invited to a meeting by the next ruler, President Anwar Sadat. During the visit, the last princess of Egypt told him: “Twice in my life I had to lose the crown: the first time, when I ceased to be the Queen of Iran, and the second - when I lost the title of princess here. No matter. Now everything is in the past."
She really did not regret anything: her second marriage was happy, the couple spent 45 years together, they had two children. In Egypt, Fawzia enjoyed great respect and love; the people continued to call her "our princess". She lived to a ripe old age and died in 2013 at the age of 91.
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