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Queen Fawzia of Iran, first wife of the shah, originally princess of Egypt daughter of queen Nazli and king Farouk.

1942 by Cecil Beaton. Portrait of Empress Fawzia , first wife of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.

The Empress Fawzia, the first wife of Muhammad Reza Shah of Iran, on a return visit to Cairo. Fawzia was one of five sisters of King Farouk of Egypt, she divorced the Shah, and settled in Cairo with her second husband Ismail Shirin.

As a daughter of King Fuad of Egypt and the youngest sister of King Farouk, Fawzia had the royal blood that the ruler Reza Shah sought for his son; a match with an old royal family would add lustre to Iran’s shallow-rooted monarchy. Having conceived the idea of a match with an Egyptian princess, Reza Shah sent an ambassador to Cairo to canvas the royal family’s opinion.