Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi – Daughter of the last Shah

(public domain)

Her Imperial Highness Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi of Iran had ties to both the Iranian and Egyptian monarchies through her parents: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the last Shah of Iran) and his first wife, Princess Fawzia of Egypt. Thus, both sets of grandparents were on the throne of their respective countries with her maternal grandparents, King Fuad I and Queen Nazli, in Egypt and her paternal grandparents, Iran’s Shah Reza and Queen Tadj ol-Molouk.

The Princess, who was the only child of the Shah by his first marriage, was born on 27 October 1940 in the capital of Iran, Tehran, and was educated in Switzerland. She only grew to stand at five feet and one inch – IF she was wearing very high heels – and was known to be an Iranian beauty, taking her mother’s blue eyes. She married at the young age of 17 in October 1957; her husband, aged 25 at the time of their wedding, was Ardeshir Zahedi, the son of General Fozollah Zahedi who helped overthrow the dictatorship that restored the monarchy. Ardeshir was trained as an agricultural engineer in the United States and served in the Iranian government as an ambassador to the United Kingdom and the United States. They had initially met in Germany when her father was returning from a visit to the United States. The couple would be reunited in 1955 when she had returned home from school in Europe.

Their wedding was a small one in the Mirror Hall of Golestan Palace. The Ocala Star-Banner reported at the time that the Shah had given orders for it to be a simple ceremony because “it is no pride to be King of a poor, hungry people.” Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi and Ardeshir Zahedi had one daughter, Zahra Mahnaz Zahedi. They divorced in 1964.

Her Imperial Highness married for a second time in February 1971 to Khosrow Jahanbani in the Iranian Embassy in Paris. Together, they had a son, Keykhosrow, and a daughter, Fawzia. The book The Pahlavi Dynasty: An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam later claimed that the Shah did not support the union. Shahnaz and Khosrow were married until his death from cancer in 2014.

Since the Iranian Revolution that saw her father deposed, she has resided in Switzerland. She has two younger brothers (Crown Prince Reza and Prince Ali-Reza) and two younger sisters (Princesses Farahnaz and Leila) from her father’s third marriage to Empress Farah.

About Brittani Barger 95 Articles
My name is Brittani, and I am from Tennessee, USA. I have a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Tennessee: Knoxville, and I’m currently pursuing my master’s degree at Northeastern University. I’ve been passionate about history since I was a child. My favorite areas to study and research are World War II through the Cold War, as well as studying the ancient Romans and Egyptians. Aside from pursuing my passion for writing about history, I am the Deputy Editor for Royal Central. I am also an avid reader who believes you can never stop learning! On any weekend in the fall, you can find me watching college football (American football) and cheering on my Tennessee Volunteers! You can contact me on Twitter @brittani_91 .

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