Queen consort of Egypt
Tenure20 January 1938 – 17 November 1948
Born(1921-09-05)5 September 1921
Alexandria, Egypt
Died16 October 1988(1988-10-16) (aged 67)
Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
BurialAl-Rifa'i Mosque, Cairo, Egypt
(m. 1938; div. 1948)
IssuePrincess Ferial
Princess Fawzia
Princess Fadia
Safinaz Zulficar (birth name)
Arabic: صافيناز ذوالفقار
HouseHouse of Muhammad Ali
(by marriage)
FatherYoussef Zulficar Pasha
MotherZainab Sa'id

Farida, born Safinaz Zulficar (5 September 1921 – 16 October 1988) (Arabic: صافيناز ذوالفقار) was the queen of Egypt for nearly eleven years as the first wife of King Farouk.

Early life and education

Queen Farida was born "Safinaz Zulficar" on September 5, 1921[1] to an Egyptian noble family in Janaklis, Alexandria. Her father, Youssef Zulficar Pasha, was a judge of Turkish origin;[2][3] he was also vice president of the Alexandria Mixed Court of Appeals.[4] Her mother, Zainab Sa'id, was a lady-in-waiting of Queen Nazli Sabri. On her mother's side, Farida's uncle was the artist and lawyer Mahmoud Sa'id, and her grandfather was the former prime minister of Egypt Muhammad Said Pasha, who was also of Turkish origin.[5] Farida attended elementary and primary education at Notre Dame de Sion in Alexandria, a school run by French nuns.[6]

Marriage and issue

Farida and King Farouk first met on a royal trip to London in 1937.[7] They were engaged in the summer of 1937.[7]

She married King Farouk on 20 January 1938 at Qubba Palace in Cairo, Egypt.[8] She was renamed Farida in accordance with the tradition initiated by King Fuad I that members of the royal family should bear the same initials. She wore a wedding gown designed by The House of Worth in Paris.[9]

Princess Ferial with King Farouk and Queen Farida, c. 1940.
Princess Ferial with King Farouk and Queen Farida, c. 1940.

She had three daughters:

After the birth of a third daughter, Farouk divorced her, on 19 November 1948.[7] King Farouk cared for the first two daughters, while Farida cared for the youngest one after the divorce.[10]

Queenship and public role

Queen Farida was born in a culture in which motherhood was the only priority of a woman. The birth of an heir to the throne was especially important. However, due to rising influence of the West, the role of the first lady and Queen rose to higher grounds. The first lady became an honorary title bearing with it duties of attending charities, fundraisers, commemorations and receiving foreign dignitaries.

Queen Farida accepted chair of the Red Crescent Society and was also honorary president of the Egyptian Feminist Union and the New Woman Alliance. She was also patron of the Egyptian Girl Guide Company which had an important role in community affairs.

Later life

Farida stayed in Egypt until 1964,[7] living in Zamalek, a suburb on an island in the Nile.[11] Later she settled in Lebanon where she saw her children after nearly ten years.[12] In March 1965, when King Farouk died in Rome, she and her three daughters visited his body at the morgue.[13] Then, she lived in Paris from 1968 to 1974 until she returned to Egypt in 1974, during the presidency of Anwar Al-Sadat. She remained unmarried after the divorce.[14] During the late 1960s, she began painting.[12] An artist, she had personal exhibitions in Europe and the United States. One of her exhibitions was in Cairo in May 1980.[12]


Farida was hospitalized in September 1988 due to several health problems, including leukemia, pneumonia and hepatitis.[15] On 2 October, she was put in intensive care and then, she lapsed into coma. She died of leukemia on 16 October 1988, aged 67, in Cairo.[15]



National honours

Foreign honours

See also


  1. ^ "Consorts of Monogamous Egyptian Heads of State". Egy. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  2. ^ "British documents on foreign affairs: reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. From 1945 through 1950. Africa, 1947. Africa, January 1947-December 1947, Part 4, Volume 3". University Publications of America. 2001. p. 187. Yousef Zulficar Pasha Father-in-law of His Majesty King Farouk I. Born the 6th June, 1886. He belongs to one of those Turkish families whose ancestors came to Egypt with Mohammed Ali the Great, and which, since then, have constituted the nearest approach to an aristocracy in this country.
  3. ^ Hassan, Fayza (2002), Sent away: Who was King Farouk, Al-Ahram, retrieved 18 September 2017, Farouk was not given the time to enjoy his victory in the popularity contest. His mother had decided to increase her power over him by choosing his future wife. She selected a 15- year-old whose father was a judge of Turkish descent and whose mother was one of her own ladies-in-waiting. Safinaz (renamed Farida) was "a woman in her own image, a petite, beautiful brunette upper bourgeoise who spoke perfect French and had perfect manners and yet was not of royal blood.
  4. ^ Charles Brice, William (1981). An Historical atlas of Islam. BRILL. p. 299. ISBN 90-04-06116-9.
  5. ^ Goldschmidt, Arthur (2000). Biographical dictionary of modern Egypt. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 178. ISBN 1-55587-229-8.
  6. ^ Raafat, Samir (March 2005). "Egypt's first ladies" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d Hassan, Maher (20 January 2010). "Queen Farida, King Farouk's first wife". Egypt Independent. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Queen Farida hides beauty with veil". The Pittsburgh Press. Cairo. UPI. 21 January 1938. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  9. ^ Hargrove, Rosette (21 January 1938). "Dressed to the King's taste". The Telegraph Herald. Paris. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Ex-queen Farida of Egypt". The Indian Express. Cairo. 22 November 1948. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Former Queen pens message to Farouk". Reading Eagle. 20 January 1952. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Balouny, Lisette (31 May 1980). "Queen Farida living in dignified exile". The Day. Cairo. AP. p. 20. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Cold, lonely end comes to Farouk". Lodi News Sentinel. Rome. UPI. 20 March 1965. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Queen Farida of Egypt Dies at 68". The New York Times. 17 October 1988. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Ex-Queen Farida of Egypt; First Wife of King Farouk". Los Angeles Times. 17 October 1988. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Picture". Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Picture". Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  18. ^ a b 40.media.tumblr.com, Farida Zulficar (right) at the Greek Royal Wedding
  19. ^ "Picture of the Wedding". Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Queen Farida Of Egypt In Her Wedding Dress". Getty Images. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Picture of the wedding dress". Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  22. ^ "Picture of the wedding couple". Retrieved 3 December 2019.
Egyptian royalty
Title last held by
Nazli Sabri
Queen consort of Egypt
Title next held by
Narriman Sadek