Iraqi State Visit to Britain, 1956

The British Royal Family hosted King Faisal II of Iraq and his uncle, Crown Prince ‘Abd al-Ilah of Hejaz, on their State Visit to Britain on this day in 1956, exactly two years before their gruesome assassination by an anti-imperialist military coup.  King Faisal had been educated in the United Kingdom, with his cousin, King Hussein of Jordan, and had reigned with British support.

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The King and Crown Prince were received by the Duke of Gloucester on arrival in Britain and rode in a train to Victoria Station, where they were welcomed by the Queen (wearing the Nizam of Hyderabad Brooch), Queen Mother, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret, the Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of Kent. Following the Official Welcome and the inspection of the Guard, the Royal Party rode in a Ceremonial Procession to Buckingham Palace.

While there are no images or footage of the State Banquet hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, the Gala Performance at Covent Garden or the Return Banquet hosted by King and Crown Prince, King Faisal (in the Royal Victorian Chain) and the Queen (wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara, the Greville Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace, and Queen Victoria’s Bow Brooch) as well as the Duchess of Gloucester (in the Gloucester Honeysuckle Tiara), the Duchess of Kent (wearing the Cambridge Sapphire Parure), and the Duchess of Beaufort were captured at the Banquet hosted by the British Government at Lancaster House in London.

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2 thoughts on “Iraqi State Visit to Britain, 1956

  1. So potentially there were four gala events in connection with this State Visit? Oh, the good old days. On another note; what a terrible end to the young King’s life. Just imagine what the world could have looked like today if he had been allowed to reign…

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