Queen Farida of Egypt

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Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Queen Farida of Egypt on this day in 1921. Born Safinaz Zulficar to an Egyptian noble family in Alexandria, with her father, Youssef Zulficar Pasha, being a Judge and the Vice President of the Alexandria Mixed Court of Appeals, while her mother, Zainab Sa’id, was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Nazli, and her grandfather was an Egyptian Prime Minister. She got her education at the Notre Dame de Sion School in Alexandria, where she studied until her marriage. In 1938, at the age of 16, she married King Farouk of Egypt, and was renamed Farida in accordance with the tradition that members of the royal family should bear the same initials. The couple had three daughters, Princess Ferial, Princess Fawzia, and Princess Fadia, though no son, which led to their divorce in 1948. As the Queen of a rapidly modernising Egypt, Queen Farida was the chair of the Red Crescent Society, the honorary president of the Feminist Union and the New Woman Alliance, as well as the patron of the Egyptian Girl Guide Company. After her divorce, she was allowed to care for only her youngest daughter, and resided in Egypt until 1964, long after the end of the Egyptian Monarchy, before she moved to Lebanon, and then lived in Paris from 1968 to 1974 when she returned to Egypt in during the presidency of Anwar Al-Sadat. Queen Farida remained unmarried, and took up painting, having personal exhibitions in Europe and the United States, and was also invited to some European Royal Events. She continued to reside in Egypt, where she died of leukemia in 1988, aged 67.

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