A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Last Ottoman Princess Born Under the Empire Dies at 91

Not even two weeks ago, reporting this story, I quipped that it had "been a while since we've had any social news of the Ottomans." I spoke too soon.

For now, already, we have to report that the last princess of the Ottoman dynasty to be born under the dynasty and registered in the official dynastic register has died. If that seems like a lot of qualifiers, it is. She's not, as some Western headlines apparently had it, "the last Ottoman." She was one of 15 surviving princesses. Sultana Fatma Nesilsan, 91, was a granddaughter of the lat Ottoman Sultan, Vahdettin, and also of the last Caliph, Abdulmecit,  She was married to Prince Muhammad ‘Abd al-Mun‘im of Egypt, of the Muhammad ‘Ali dynasty, who served as Regent of Egypt for King Fuad II between the deposition of King Farouq in 1952 and the proclamation of the Republic in 1953.

A few longtime readers may cry foul and say, but didn't you report back in 2009 that "Last Ottoman Prince Born Under Empire Dies at 97"? Why yes, longtime reader, you have a good memory. The articles linked above say that she has been the last since that gentleman died in 2009, and the BBC article I linked to didn't seem to qualify the story, but I'm guessing he was the last prince. This was the last princess.

Anyway we're not out of Ottomans, just out of Ottomans who were born under the Empire.


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