King Faisal II of Iraq

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Today marks the 60th Anniversary of the violent regicide of King Faisal II of Iraq, whose death marked the end of the 37-year-old Hashemite Dynasty in Iraq. The only son of King Ghazi of Iraq and Princess Alia of Hijaz, he was born into the Hashemite Dynasty which ruled over, at various times after WWI, Hijaz, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. The Crown Prince succeeded to the Throne in 1939, at the age of 3, and was educated in the United Kingdom, where he became close friends with his cousin, King Hussein of Jordan. In 1953, King Faisal reached the age of majority and took over power, with little experience. In a volatile political climate, the King faced strong anti-monarchist sentiment, and was eventually toppled in a military coup known as the 14 July Revolution. King Faisal II, and some members of his family and staff, were machine-gunned in the Courtyard of the Royal Palace of Baghdad, and their bodies paraded around the streets for days afterwards. With King Faisel died the Hashemite Monarchy in Iraq, leaving them reigning only in Jordan today.

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