A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, July 26, 2012

60 Years Ago Today: Two Kings Sail Into Exile

Queen Narriman, King Ahmad Fuad II, ex-King Farouq in Capri
July 23 marked the 60th anniversary of Egypt's revolution of 1952, but July 26 is also memorable (Cairo has a major thoroughfare and a bridge that bear the name): it is the day just-abdicated King Farouq, and the six-month-old King Ahmad Fuad II in whose favor he had abdicated, sailed out of Alexandria for the last time. The infant King would reign nearly a year but with a regency council at home and the infant in exile, before Egypt was declared a republic in June 1953. Ahmad Fuad, now 60, today returns to Egypt occasionally for family funerals and such, as he poses no threat to the republic.

At exactly six p.m. on July 26, 1952, the Royal Yacht Mahroussa,with Farouq, Queen Narriman, and the infant King Ahmad Fuad aboard, sailed from Alexandria to Italy.

The Mahroussa,  by the way, had seen other dramatic moments. Built in 1865 for Khedive Ismail, the Royal Yacht had been the first ship through the newly opened Suez Canal in 1869. Renamed the Horriya after the Revolution, she is still on the Egyptian naval list as a training vessel. She visited the US for the bicentennial celebrations in 1976, and is today in Alexandria.

The first video is of the departure; the second consists of clips of Farouq's reign with the departure and the exile period at the end.

No comments: