Farouk of Egypt
Egyptian King
Farouk of Egypt
Farouk I of Egypt, was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the penultimate King of Egypt and the Sudan, succeeding his father, Fuad I of Egypt, 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 forced to abdicate in favor of his infant son Ahmed Fuad, who succeeded him as Fuad II of Egypt.
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  • 1965
    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.
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  • 1959
    He was granted Monegasque citizenship in 1959 by his close friend Prince Rainier III.
    More Details Hide Details 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".
  • 1958
    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.
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  • 1952
    The ironies of history also meant that the Abaza family's own Wagih Abaza was in the Free Officers movement that removed the King in 1952, later becoming governor of six governorates in post-Farouk Egypt.
    More Details Hide Details 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 Egyptian politicians and elected government officials, with whom Farouk quarreled frequently, despite their loyalty in principle to his throne. During the hardships of the Second World War, criticism was levelled at Farouk for his lavish lifestyle. His decision not to put out the lights at his palace in Alexandria when the city was blacked out because of German and Italian bombing was deemed particularly offensive by the Egyptian people. Owing 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, Farouk's Italian servants 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 harbouring certain Axis sympathies and even sending a note to Adolf Hitler saying that an invasion would be welcome.
  • 1948
    Farouk was widely condemned for his corrupt and ineffectual governance, the continued British occupation, and the Egyptian army's failure in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War to prevent the creation of the state of Israel. Public discontent against Farouk rose to new levels. Finally, on 23 July 1952, the Free Officers, led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser, staged a military coup that launched the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.
    More Details Hide Details Farouk was forced to abdicate, and went into exile in Monaco and Italy where he lived for the rest of his life. 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. 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. The Egyptian government quickly moved to auction off the King's vast collection of trinkets and treasures, including his seven-piece bedroom suite that was inspired by Napoleon and Josephine's suite at the Château de Malmaison. 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. (It later reappeared in New York in 1996 and was eventually sold at auction for more than seven million dollars.)
  • 1945
    Farouk declared war on the Axis Powers only under heavy British pressure in 1945, long after the fighting in Egypt's Western Desert had ceased.
    More Details Hide Details On 17 October 1951 the Egyptian government got Parliamentary approval to cancel the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty. As a result, the British forces in the Suez Canal were considered occupation forces and king Farouk was declared "King of Egypt and Sudan". This title was not recognised by many countries, and Egypt entered diplomatic debates as well as internal political unrest. Farouk is also reported as having said "The whole world is in revolt. Soon there will be only five Kings left — the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds."
  • 1942
    On the night of 4 February 1942, British troops and tanks surrounded Abdeen Palace in Cairo and Lampson presented Farouk with an ultimatum.
    More Details Hide Details Farouk capitulated, and Nahhas formed a government shortly thereafter. However, the humiliation meted out to Farouk, and the actions of the Wafd in cooperating with the British and taking power, lost support for both the British and the Wafd among both civilians and, more importantly, the military.
    Following a ministerial crisis in February 1942, the British government, through its ambassador in Egypt, Sir Miles Lampson, pressed Farouk to have a Wafd or Wafd-coalition government replace Hussein Sirri Pasha's government.
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  • 1938
    They were married in January 1938, and divorced in 1948, producing three daughters. Farouk's second wife was a commoner, Narriman Sadek (1933-2005). They were married in 1951, and divorced in 1954, having only one child, the future King Fuad II. 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.
    More Details Hide Details King Farouk amassed one of the most famous coin collections in history which included an extremely rare American Gold Minted 1933 Double Eagle coin and (non concurrently), two 1913 Liberty Head nickels. The ostentatious king's name is used to describe 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 is covered in elaborate cloth. The style, or imitations thereof, remains widespread in Egypt. Gore Vidal's 1953 pulp novel Thieves Fall Out is set against his overthrow. In 2007, the MBC aired an Egyptian television series titled Al Malik Farouk about the life of King Farouk and he was portrayed by Syrian actor Taym Hassan.
  • 1920
    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.
    More Details Hide Details King Farouk of Egypt was of 10/16 Circassian (bilineal), 3/16 Turkish (bilineal), 2/16 French (matrilineal) and 1/16 Albanian (patrilineal) descent. In addition to his sisters, Fawzia, Faiza, Faika and Fathia, 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. Upon his coronation, the 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 Motherland!
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