King Farouk

Farouk of Egypt

Early life and education

King Farouk was born His Sultanic Highness Prince Farouk bin Fuad at Abdeen Palace, Cairo, the eldest child of Sultan Fuad I of Egypt and Sudan (later King Fuad I), and his second wife, Nazli Sabri on 11 February 1920.[5][6] King Farouk of Egypt was of 10/16 Circassian (bilineal), 3/16 Turkish (bilineal), 2/16 French (matrilineal) and 1/16 Albanian (patrilineal) descent.[7][8][9] In addition to his sisters, Fawzia, Faiza, Faika and Fathia,[10] he had two half-siblings from his father's previous marriage to Princess Shwikar Khanum Effendi. Before his father's death, he was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, England.

Exile and death

Farouk fled Egypt in great haste, and his abandoned possessions—including a huge collection of pornography—became objects of curiosity and ridicule.[22] On his exile from Egypt, Farouk settled first in Monaco, and later in Rome, Italy. On 29 April 1958, the United Arab Republic, a federation of Egypt and Syria, issued rulings revoking his citizenship.[23] He was granted Monegasque citizenship in 1959 by his close friend Prince Rainier III.[24] Farouk was thin early in his reign but later gained weight, reaching nearly 136 kg (300 pounds)—an acquaintance described him as "a stomach with a head". He died in the Ile de France restaurant in Rome on 18 March 1965, collapsing at his dinner table following a characteristically heavy meal.[25] While some claim he was poisoned by Egyptian Intelligence,[26] no official autopsy was conducted on his body. His will stipulated that he be buried in the Al Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo, but the request was denied by the Egyptian government under Gamal Abdel Nasser, and he was buried in Italy. The funeral service held in Rome was attended by his mother, Nazli Sabri.[27] King Faisal of Saudi Arabia stated he would be willing to have King Farouk buried in Saudi Arabia, upon which President Nasser said that the former monarch could be buried in Egypt, but not in Rifai' mosque. The body of King Farouk returned to Egypt on 31 March 1965 at night and was secretly buried in the Ibrahim Pasha Burial Site in Imam El Shafi' area

Marriages and affairs

Farouk was married twice, with a claim of a third marriage. 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 January 1938,.[29] The marriage was under a larga amount of stress due to Queen Farida's inability to produce a male heir, which Farouk found essential to maintain his throne. After producing three daughters, the couple divorced in 1948. In 1950, Farouk was smitten by a commoner named Narriman Sadek (1933-2005) and after courting, the two married in 1951. Sadek eighteen years old when she married the king and many believed the attraction was due to Farouk's belief that she would give him the male heir he desired. He got what he wanted when Sadek gave birth to the future King Fuad II in January 16, 1952. However, months after the prince's birth the king and his queen were expelled from Egypt, and divorced in 1954. He also had many affairs, including one with British writer Barbara Skelton. While 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