Farouk of Egypt: Wikis


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Farouk I
Profile portrait of a young man facing left. He is wearing a tarboosh over his head and is dressed in military uniform. He is holding a sword and gloves in his left hand.
Photograph of Farouk I by Riad Shehata
King of Egypt and the Sudan[1]
Reign 28 April 1936 – 26 July 1952
Oath 29 July 1937 (aged 17)[2]
Predecessor Fuad I
Successor Fuad II
Regents Prince Muhammad Ali Tawfiq
Aziz Ezzat Pasha
Sherif Sabri Pasha
Prime Ministers
Consort Farida (née Safinaz Zulficar)
(m. 1938; div. 1948)
Narriman Sadek
(m. 1951; div. 1954)
Princess Ferial
Princess Fawzia
Princess Fadia
Fuad II
House House of Muhammad Ali
(by birth)
Father Fuad I
Mother Nazli Sabri
Born 11 February 1920(1920-02-11)
Abdeen Palace, Cairo, Egypt
Died 18 March 1965 (aged 45)
Rome, Italy
Burial Al-Rifa'i Mosque, Cairo, Egypt
Religion Sunni Islam

Farouk I of Egypt (Arabic: فاروق الأول Fārūq al-Awwal) ‎ (11 February 1920 – 18 March 1965), was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the penultimate King of Egypt and Sudan, succeeding his father, Fuad I, in 1936. His full title was "His Majesty Farouk I, by the grace of God, King of Egypt and Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, of Kordofan, and of Darfur." He was overthrown in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and was forced to abdicate in favor of his infant son Ahmed Fuad, who succeeded him as King Fuad II. He died in exile in Italy. His sister was Princess Fawzia Fuad, first wife and Queen Consort of the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.


Early life

As Crown Prince, Farouk held the rank of First Scout of Egypt.


The great-great-grandson of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Farouk was of Albanian descent as well as native Egyptian descent through his mother the Queen. Before his father's death, he was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, England. Upon his coronation, the hugely popular 16-year-old King Farouk made a public radio address to the nation, the first time a sovereign of Egypt had ever spoken directly to his people in such a way:

And if it is God's will to lay on my shoulders at such an early age the responsibility of kingship, I on my part appreciate the duties that will be mine, and I am prepared for all sacrifices in the cause of my duty... My noble people, I am proud of you and your loyalty and am confident in the future as I am in God. Let us work together. We shall succeed and be happy. Long live the Fatherland!

Farouk was enamored of the glamorous royal lifestyle. Although he already had thousands of acres of land, dozens of palaces, and hundreds of cars, the youthful king would often travel to Europe for grand shopping sprees, earning the ire of many of his subjects.

He was most popular in his early years and the Nobility largely celebrated him. For example, during the accession of the young King Farouk, "the Abaza family had solicited palace authorities to permit the royal train to stop briefly in their village so that the king could partake in refreshments offered in a large, magnificently ornamented tent they had erected in the train station."[3]

Farouk's accession initially was encouraging for the populace and nobility, due to his youth and Egyptian roots through his mother Nazli Sabri. However, the situation was not the same with some politicians and elected governments, with whom Farouk quarreled a lot despite their loyalty in principle to his throne.

During the hardships of World War II, criticism was leveled at Farouk for his lavish lifestyle. His decision to not to put out the lights at his palace in Alexandria, during a time when the city was blacked-out because of German and Italian bombing, was deemed particularly offensive by some. Due to the continuing British occupation of Egypt, many Egyptians, Farouk included, were positively disposed towards Germany and Italy, and despite the presence of British troops, Egypt remained officially neutral until the final year of the war. Consequently, the royal Italian servants of Farouk were not interned, and there is an unconfirmed story that Farouk told British Ambassador Sir Miles Lampson (who had an Italian wife), "I'll get rid of my Italians, when you get rid of yours". In addition, Farouk was known for harboring certain Axis sympathies and even sending a note to Hitler saying that an invasion would be welcome. Farouk only declared war on the Axis Powers under heavy British pressure in 1945, long after the fighting in Egypt's Western Desert had ceased.


Farouk was widely condemned for his corrupt and ineffectual governance, the continued British occupation, and the Egyptian army's failure to prevent the loss of 78% of Palestine to the newly formed State of Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Public discontent against Farouk rose to new levels.[citation needed] Finally, on 23 July 1952, the Free Officers Movement under Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser staged a military coup that launched the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.[citation needed] Farouk was forced to abdicate, and went into exile in Monaco and Italy where he lived for the rest of his life.[citation needed] Immediately following his abdication, Farouk's baby son, Ahmed Fuad was proclaimed King Fuad II, but for all intents and purposes Egypt was now governed by Naguib, Nasser and the Free Officers.[citation needed] On 18 June 1953, the revolutionary government formally abolished the monarchy, ending 150 years of the Muhammad Ali dynasty's rule, and Egypt was declared a republic.[citation needed]

The revolutionary government quickly moved to auction off the King's vast collection of trinkets and treasures.[citation needed] Among the more famous of his possessions was one of the rare 1933 Double Eagle coins, though the coin disappeared before it could be returned to the United States.[citation needed]

Exile and death

Farouk I with his wife Narriman and their son Fuad II in exile in Capri, Italy (1953)

Farouk fled Egypt in great haste; his abandoned possessions—including a huge collection of pornography—became an object of curiosity and ridicule.[4] On his exile from Egypt, Farouk settled first in Monaco, and later in Rome, Italy. On 29 April 1958, the United Arab Republic issued rulings revoking the Egyptian citizenship of Farouk.[5] He was granted Monegasque citizenship in 1959 by his close friend Prince Rainier III.[6]

The blue-eyed Farouk was thin early in his reign, but later gained enormous weight. His taste for fine cuisine made him dangerously obese, weighing nearly 300 pounds (136 kg) – an acquaintance described him as "a stomach with a head" He died in the Ile de France restaurant in Rome, Italy on 18 March 1965. He collapsed and died at his dinner table following a characteristically heavy meal.[7] While some claim he was poisoned by Egyptian Intelligence,[8] no official autopsy was conducted on his body. His will stated that his burial place should be in the Al Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo, but the request was denied by the Egyptian government under Gamal Abdel Nasser, and he was going to be buried in Italy. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia stated he would be willing to have King Farouk buried in Saudi Arabia, upon which President Nasser agreed for the former monarch to be buried in Egypt, not in the Mosque of Al Rifai' but in the Ibrahim Pasha Burial Site.[citation needed]

Marriages and affairs

Farouk I with his wife Queen Farida and their first-born daughter Ferial (c. 1939)

In addition to an affair with the British writer and siren Barbara Skelton, among numerous others, Farouk was married twice, with a claim of a third marriage (see below). His first wife was Safinaz Zulficar (1921–1988), the daughter of Youssef Zulficar Pasha. Safinaz was renamed Farida upon her marriage. They were married in 1938, and divorced in 1948, producing three daughters.

Farouk's second wife was a commoner, Narriman Sadek (1934–2005). They were married in 1951, and divorced in 1954, having only one child, the future King Fuad II.

Whilst in exile in Italy, Farouk met Irma Capece Minutolo, an opera singer, who became his companion. In 2005, she claimed that she married the former King in 1957.[1]


  • Farial (1938–2009)
  • Fawzia (1940–2005)
  • Fadia (1943–2002)
  • Fuad II (born in 1952)
  • Liala Grand Duchess of Alexandria (born in 1957)[9]


The ostentatious king's name is used to describe the bad imitation Louis XV-style furniture known as "Louis-Farouk". The imperial French style furniture became fashionable among Egypt's upper classes during Farouk's reign so Egyptian artisans began to mass-produce it. The style uses ornate carving, is heavily gilded, and covered in very elaborate cloth[10].

See also


  1. ^ Whiteman, Marjorie Millace; Hackworth, Green Haywood (1963) (snippet view). Digest of International Law. Vol. 2. United States Department of State. p. 64. OCLC 79506166. http://books.google.com/books?id=vVIMAQAAIAAJ&q=%22King+of+Egypt+and+the+Sudan%22#search_anchor. Retrieved 2010-02-26. "The Egyptian Parliament amended the Constitution by Law 176 of October 16, 1951, to provide that the title of the King should be "King of Egypt and the Sudan" instead of "King of Egypt, Sovereign of Nubia, Sudan, Kordofan, and Darfur"." 
  2. ^ Rizk, Yunan Labib (28 July – 3 August 2005). "Crowning moment". Al-Ahram Weekly (753). http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/753/chrncls.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  3. ^ Al-Ahram Weekly
  4. ^ Foreign News: A King's Home Time, Sept. 8, 1952.
  5. ^ Halsey, William Darrach; Friedman, Emanuel (1983). "Faruk I" (snippet view). Collier's Encyclopedia with Bibliography and Index. Vol. 9. New York: Macmillan Educational Co. p. 574. OCLC 9355858. http://books.google.co.uk/books?client=firefox-a&id=8LwJAAAAIAAJ&q=revoking+citizenship#search_anchor. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  6. ^ "Monaco Makes Farouk Citizen". Deseret News 351 (107): p. A3. 5 May 1959. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=W0EwAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XkgDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7062,742551. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  7. ^ Time: "Egypt: A Tale of Two Autocrats", Mar. 26, 1965
  8. ^ Farouk of Egypt. Accessed 2010.02.26.
  9. ^ H.I.R.H Liala Princess of Egypt
  10. ^ Burke, C: Lee Miller, a life, page 151. University of Chicago Press, 2005


  • Ashraf Pahlavi "Faces in a Mirror", Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1980
  • McLeave, Hugh The Last Pharaoh : Farouk of Egypt, New York : McCall Pub. Co., 1970, 1969 ISBN 0841500207.
  • New King, Old Trouble, Time Magazine, Monday, May 11, 1936.
  • Sadat, Jehan "A Woman of Egypt", New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987 ISBN 0671540713
  • Stadiem, William Too Rich: The High Life and Tragic Death of King Farouk, New York: Carroll & Graf Pub, 1991 ISBN 0881846295
Farouk of Egypt
Born: 11 February 1920 Died: 18 March 1965
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Fuad I
King of Egypt
Sovereign of Nubia, the Sudan, Kordofan and Darfur

Name of title changed by
Law 176 of 16 October 1951
New title
Name of title changed by
Law 176 of 16 October 1951
King of Egypt and the Sudan
Succeeded by
Fuad II
Egyptian royalty
British Protectorate
Title last held by
Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim
Heir to the Throne
as heir apparent
Succeeded by
Prince Muhammad Ali Tawfiq
New title Prince of the Sa'id
Title next held by
Ahmad Fuad, Prince of the Sa'id
later became King Fuad II

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