The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq was founded on 23 August 1921 following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Mesopotamian campaign of the First World War.
Its first King was Faisal I who was also King of the Arab Kingdoms of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920. He had been married to Huzaima bint Nasser since 1904. She was thus the first Queen of Iraq. They had three daughters and a son together.
The Kingdom of Iraq was far from stable, even after receiving full independence in 1932. The Sunni religious domination was established despite unrests.
King Faisal I died in 1933 and was succeeded by his only son, now King Ghazi of Iraq. On 25 January 1934 Ghazi married his first cousin, Princess Aliya bint Ali, daughter of his uncle King Ali of Hejaz. She would be Iraq’s second and last Queen. They would have one son together before separating. Ghazi died in a car accident in 1939; he was still only 26 years old.
Their 4-year-old son became King Faisal II under the regency of Prince Abdullah, a cousin of his father. The Second World War saw the regime of the regent overthrown in 1941. The short-lived pro-Nazi government was defeated by allied forces in May 1941. The young King was being tutored in the royal palace, and for a time he also lived in England. An alliance with the United Kingdom was so unpopular that it led to a deteriorating loyalty to the Iraqi crown. Iraq joined the United Nations in 1945 and was a founding member of the Arab League.
In 1958, King Hussein of Jordan and the regent proposed a union of the Hāshimite monarchies to counter the newly formed Egyptian-Syrian union. This was so unpopular that the monarchy was overthrown in a military coup later that same year. King Faisal II surrendered to the insurgents, and the King, Prince ‘Abd al-Ilah, Princess Hiyam (‘Abd al-Ilah’s wife), Princess Nafeesa (‘Abd al-Ilah’s mother) were into the courtyard. They were then told to turn towards the wall and were then shot. King Faisal survived the initial shooting and was transported to a hospital. He died en route, and his body was strung up from a lamp post. Princess Hiyam survived the shooting as well and managed to escape the country.
King Faisal II was betrothed to Shahnaz Pahlavi, daughter of the Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi but the marriage never took place.
In 1958, the Arab Federation was declared, followed by the Iraqi Republic (1958–68), Ba’athist Iraq (1968 – 2003), Coalition Provisional Authority (2003 – 2004) and finally the Republic of Iraq.
The claim to the Iraqi throne is held by Prince Ra’ad bin Zeid, a descendant of King Faisal I’s younger brother. He married the Swedish born Margaretha Inga Elisabeth Lind in 1963, and they have five children together.