Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sad Egyptian Anniversary

It was on this day in 1953 that the Egyptian monarchy was abolished and a republic declared, deposing HM King Fuad II of Egypt and Sudan, the last reigning monarch of the Muhammad Ali dynasty which had ruled Egypt since 1805. The Egyptian Royal Family was good friends to the House of Grimaldi and King Fuad II (who was only an infant at the time he lost his throne) spent much of his time in exile in the Principality of Monaco. His father, King Farouk, had been a good friend of HSH Prince Rainier III and when his Egyptian citizenship was revoked in 1959 the Prince of Monaco extended him Monegasque citizenship and they always had a warm welcome in the Principality. As seen in the photo above, when King Fuad II was all grown up and decided to get married, to Dominique-France Loeb-Picard (a well-educated French woman who converted from Judaism to Islam to marry the King) the ceremony was held in Monaco with TSH Prince Rainier and Princess Grace looking on. Unfortunately, the marriage did not endure but the two royal families have always remained close. Princess Ferial of Egypt accompanied her father King Farouk to the wedding in Monaco of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace and, many years later, the same Egyptian princess returned to Monaco to say farewell to Prince Rainier at his funeral. Particularly today, in light of the trauma of the "Arab Spring" and the continued unrest under the government which replaced the Mubarak dictatorship, it is more obvious than ever than the loss of the Egyptian monarchy was a terrible mistake.

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