She received the name of the most beautiful princess of the Muhammad Ali dynasty in Egypt (her grandfather’s sister, Empress Fawzia, who was the first wife of Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi), she was born far away from the country of her ancestors, she never saw her father or other relatives ruling, she has a royal title but lives as a commoner. The pretty girl whose destiny was so special is Princess Fawzia Latifa, the daughter of the last King of Egypt, Ahmed Fouad.
He father reigned as the last King of Egypt and the Sudan from July 1952 to June 1953, when he was deposed at the tender age of one year. Her grandfather, King Farouk, had hoped that his abdication would appease the revolutionaries and other anti-royalist forces and that his young son could serve as a unifying force for the country. It was not meant to be, for in July 1953, Egypt abolished the monarchy and became a republic.
Fawzia-Latifa was born in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in 1982 to her father, Ahmed Fouad and her French-Jewish mother, who upon conversion to Islam, took the name Fadila. She has an older brother, Prince Muhammad Ali and a younger brother, Prince Fakhruddin. The marriage of her parents ended in divorce. The young lady lived between France and Switzerland with some occasional vacations in Egypt (after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat restored her father’s Egyptian citizenship, and the family was thus able to visit Egypt). The little information available about Princess Fawzia says that she is 36 years old and she is the last and youngest granddaughter of King Farouk I. Fawzia works in public relations and the media. She has also worked as a diplomat with the delegation of the Principality of Monaco in Austria. But we cannot help wondering how life could be for someone coming from such an illustrious background.
During her trips to Egypt, did she visit the former residences of her family, did she listen to the stories of her relatives, did she admire the photos of the beautiful and elegant women of the royal family? Did she feel part of that history and compelled to continue their work? We can only imagine so…
Princess Fawzia, the sister of her grandfather, once said: “Twice in my life, I lost the crown. Once I was the Queen of Iran, and once I was the princess here. It’s all gone now. It doesn’t matter. When you visit the tombs of kings and queens, you see they leave everything behind.” Maybe there is a lot of wisdom in these words and a lesson for younger generations of royal families. You have to live with the legacy of your family but also carve your own place in the world without being intimidated by all that history you carry in your genes.
And the young woman called Fawzia-Latifa seemed to have done just that. On 19 January 2019, she married a French electronics engineer, at the residence of her father in Geneva, Switzerland. Sources close to the former royal family said the princess’s wedding would be limited to family and close friends. In Egypt, the news passed almost unnoticed. The counterfactual history would indicate that if there had still been a monarchy, the country would have prepared lavish celebrations for the wedding of their beautiful princess. But human destinies are not made by scenarios and counterfactual history. Fawzia-Latifa lives, hopefully happily ever after, the life of a commoner with a fascinating personal history. And her story still in the making leaves us wondering: What If?