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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in Alexandria, Egypt
Died in Rome, Lazio, Italy  (heart attack)
Birth NameFarouk Foud Ismai'l
Height 6' 0½" (1.84 m)

Mini Bio (1)

King Farouk of Egypt was the penultimate King of Egypt, succeeding his father, Fuad I, in 1936. His sister Fawzia was Queen of Iran for a brief period. His full title was "His Majesty Farouk I, by the grace of God, King of Egypt and of Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, of Kordofan and of Darfur".

Upon his coronation, the 16 year-old king made a public radio address to the nation, the first time a King of Egypt had ever spoken directly to his people. His father, Fuad I, did not speak any Arabic and relied on representatives to make his wishes known to his subjects in their native language.

The teenage monarch was enamored of the glamorous royal lifestyle. Although he already had thousands of acres of land, dozens of palaces and hundreds of cars, the king never seemed satisfied with his wealth. He would often travel to Europe for grand shopping sprees.

During the hardships of World War II, criticism was leveled at Farouk for his lavish lifestyle. His decision to keep all the lights burning at his palace in Alexandria, during a time when the city was blacked-out due to Italian bombing, was deemed particularly offensive by some. The royal Italian servants of Farouk were not interned, and there is an unconfirmed story that Farouk told British Ambassador Sir Miles Lampson (who had an Italian wife), "I'll get rid of my Italians, when you get rid of yours."

As he got older, the king began pilfering objects and artifacts while on state visits abroad, including a ceremonial sword from the Shah of Iran and a priceless pocket watch from Winston Churchill. Common people were also often the victims of the kleptomania cal monarch, and by mingling with commoners Farouk soon became a highly-skilled pickpocket. His well-known panache for thievery soon earned him the nickname "The Thief of Cairo". This excess would be one of the leading sparks that triggered the 1952 military coup.

The King's alleged corruption in Egypt and defeat during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, led to a military coup on July 23, 1952, directed by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who forced Farouk to abdicate and exiled him to Italy and Monaco, where the former king lived the rest of his life. Immediately following Farouk's abdication the monarch's baby son, Fuad II, was proclaimed king, but for all intents and purposes the monarchy had been de facto abolished. In 1953, it was formally abolished and a republic was declared.

The new regime quickly moved to auction off the King's vast collection of trinkets and stolen treasures. Among the more famous of his possession was one of the rare 1933 Double Eagle coins, though the coin disappeared before it could be returned to the United States.

Farouk continued to live a lavish life even in exile, and continued his obsessive accumulation of material goods. His gluttony for fine cuisine soon made the former king dangerously obese, weighing nearly 300 pounds, an acquaintance described him as "a stomach with a head". He died in Rome, Italy on the early morning hours of March 18, 1965 where he collapsed and died at the dinner table, following a characteristically heavy meal.

In addition to an affair with the British writer and siren Barbara Skelton, among numerous others, the king was married twice, possibly three times. His first wife was Safinaz Zulficar (1921-1988), a pasha's daughter who was renamed Farida upon her marriage; they married in 1938, divorced in 1948, and had three daughters. His second was a commoner, Nariman Sadeq (1934-2005); they married in 1951 and divorced in 1954; they had one son, Ahmed Fouad, a.k.a. Fuad II. In 2005, Irma Capece Minutolo, Princess of Canosa (1941-), a retired Neapolitan-born opera singer, declared in an interview published in Al-Ahram that she married to the exiled king in 1957, when she was 16, and that she was writing her memoirs of her life with him.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Patay

Spouse (2)

Nariman Sadeq (6 May 1951 - 2 February 1954) (divorced) (1 child)
Farida Farouk (20 January 1938 - 19 November 1948) (divorced) (3 children)

Trivia (9)

Last monarch of Egypt from 1936 to 1952.
Some people including his own daughter HRH Princess Farial believe that he was poisoned by the free officers while he was dining at a restaurant in Rome in 1965.
He met and fell in love with his first wife then called Safinaz Zulficar in Alexandria,where they were both born before he became king in 1937 and they married on 20 January 1938 at the Kubbe Palace in Cairo. He was 18 and his bride was 17 they divorced 11 years later.
Whilst in exile in Italy he met Irma Capece Minutolo, an opera singer, who became his companion. In 2005, she claimed that she married the king in 1957.
In 2007, the Arabic satellite channel MBC produced an Egyptian television series titled 'El Malek Farouk' about the life of Farouk he was portrayed by Syrian actor Taym Hassan. The series caused many Egyptians to take another look at the last ruler's reign and shed a more flattering light on his character and on that period.
Was first protested against when he divorced Queen Farida, people protested in front of Abdeen Palace chanting, "Farida walked out of prostitution to virtue".
Contrary to all beliefs, Farouk never drank alcohol in his life.
Married his second wife Queen Narriman who was a commoner in hopes of regaining the popularity he lost after divorcing Queen Farida but his attempt failed because the people still loved Farida and remained loyal to that love.
His popularity among the Egyptian people began to decline when he divorced his wife Queen Farida who was very loved by the people, for her inability to produce a male heir to his throne.

Personal Quotes (1)

And if it is God's will to lay on my shoulders at such an early age the responsibility of kingship, I on my part appreciate the duties that will be mine, and I am prepared for all sacrifices in the cause of my duty... My noble people, I am proud of you and your loyalty and am confident in the future as I am in God. Let us work together. We shall succeed and be happy. Long live the Fatherland!

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