Egyptian Princess Fawzia Dies At 92

Princess Fawzia Fuad, a member of Egypt’s last royal family and the first wife of the deposed Shah of Iran, has died at 92, Iranian opposition groups said.

Fawzia died Tuesday in Alexandria, but the cause of death was not immediately known.

The eldest daughter of King Fuad I and his second wife, Nazli Sabri, Fawzia married then-crown prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Cairo in 1939. Two years later, Pahlavi succeeded his exiled father, Reza Pahlavi I, to become Shah of Iran. The couple had a daughter, Her Imperial Highness Shahnaz Pahlavi, in 1940.

Five years later, Pawzia obtained an Egyptian divorce, which was not recognized in Iran until 1948, when Fawzia obtained an official divorce and reclaimed her title of Princess Egpyt. As a condition of the divorce, she was forced to leave her daughter behind to be raised in Iran. The Shah married twice more and died in Cairo in 1980, a year after he was deposed.

Princess Fawzia married Colonel Ismail Chirine in March 1949, and the couple had two children: daughter Nadia Khanum, and son Husain Chirine Effendi. She continued to live in Egypt after the 1952 revolution, during which her brother, King Farouk 1, was overthrown.

Princess Melekper Toussou said Fawzia did not have an easy life.

“In a nutshell, contre mauvaise fortune, bon coeur (a brave spirit in the face of ill fortune) I think describes her perfectly,” Toussou said. “In all the years I knew her I never heard her complain, and, God knows, she had many reasons to.”

A statement about Princess Fawzia’s death was posted to her Facebook page Tuesday:

“The royal family of Egypt announces to the nation that it is mourning the passing of Her Royal Highness Princess Fawzia Fuad, daughter of His Majesty King Fuad I and sister of His Majesty King Faruk I and aunt of his Majesty King Fuad II and the former Empress of Iran.”