Iraqi Princess Badiya bint Ali has died at the age of 100. She passed away on 9 May 2020 in London.
Badiya was born in 1920 as the daughter of Ali of Hejaz (a state in the Hejaz region in the Middle East – modern-day western Saudi Arabia) and Nafissa Khanum. She was a niece of King Abdullah I of Jordan, King Faisal I of Iraq and Syria and Zeid, Crown Prince of Iraq. She was born in Damascus and spent her childhood Makkah Al-Mukarramah before moving to Iraq. Her brother Abdul Ilah served as regent for their first cousin King Faisal II of Iraq, and he was also Crown Prince of Iraq from 1943.
Badiya married Sharif Al-Hussain Bin Ali Bin Abdullah, and they had three children together.
Badiya was not present during the coup of 1958 during which her brother was killed, alongside most of the Iraqi Royal Family. This meant the end for the monarchy in Iraq. Badiya could hear the coup unfold and recalled in an interview with Al-Sharqiya TV in 2012, “I heard an explosion at around 6-6.30 a.m. and I jumped out of bed. I asked Hussein, ‘what was that?’ … I had a look at the Rihab Palace and saw smoke coming out of it.” She was informed by a member of staff of what had occurred. “I started crying and screaming, and when the kids’ English nanny asked me what was wrong, I said ‘They’ve killed my family.’”
Among those killed with the King were Princess Badiya’s brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, her sister Princess Abadiya and sister-in-law Princess Hiyam.
Badiya sought refuge in the Saudi embassy in Baghdad, which helped and her family to Egypt. She then moved to Switzerland before settling in the United Kingdom, where she lived until her death.
Badiya was the last surviving Iraqi Princess.