Princess Fawzia, Shah’s first wife, dies in Egypt

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Princess Fawzia Fuad, a daughter and sister of Egyptian kings and the first wife of the last Shah of Iran, died on Tuesday in Alexandria, a member of the former royal family and a senior local police officer said.

Her death at the age of 91 was also reported on a Facebook page associated with her nephew, King Fuad II, Egypt’s deposed and exiled last monarch.

Fawzia, the glamorous sister of Fuad’s father King Farouk, married Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1939, before he acceded the throne in Tehran. They divorced nine years later.

Princess Melekper Toussou, a descendent of the former Egyptian royal family, told Reuters Fawzia had had no easy life.

“In a nutshell, “contre mauvaise fortune, bon coeur” (abrave spirit in the face of ill fortune) I think describes her perfectly,” she said in apparent reference to her brief marriage to the Shah and to the 1952 coup that stripped the Egyptian royal family of its titles and its wealth.

She was one of a handful of royal family members who continued to live in Egypt after the 1952 revolution.

“In all the years I knew her I never heard her complain, and, God knows, she had many reasons to,” said Melekper Toussou.

Fawzia remarried, to an Egyptian army officer, on her return from her failed marriage to the Shah. The Shah went on to marry twice more and died in Cairo in 1980, less than a year after he was deposed in the Islamic revolution.

“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,” read a statement on the Facebook page.

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