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Queen Nariman

Narriman Sadek (Arabic: ناريمان صادق or Nariman Sadiq) (31 October 1933 – 16 February 2005) was the daughter of Hussain Fahmi Sadiq Bey, a high-ranking official in the Egyptian government, and his wife Asila Kamil; she was the second wife of King Farouk and the last Queen of Egypt. Farouk divorced his first wife, Queen Farida, in 1948, after a ten-year marriage in which she had produced three daughters, but no male heir. In a bid to ensure his succession, and also to rekindle some public enthusiasm towards a decaying dynasty, he let it be known that he was in the market for a new bride, preferably an Egyptian, well-heeled but not of the aristocracy. Known as the "Cinderella of the Nile" for her middle class background, Nariman was 16 when she married Farouk in May 1951. She had been selected in part as a populist gesture to prop up public opinion of the monarchy, and though she already was engaged to a Harvard doctoral student, Zaki Hashem, she broke off the engagement to become Egypt's queen. Extremely plump, she was put on a weight-loss program to please her future husband and schooled in court etiquette. The bride's gown was embroidered with 20,000 diamonds and all wedding presents made of gold were melted down into ingots after the ceremony Narriman fulfilled her queenly duty on 16 January 1952, with the birth of their only son, Ahmed Fouad. Later that year, on 23 July 1952, a coup d'état headed by Mohamed Naguib forced Farouk to abdicate. He stepped down in favour of his infant son, who assumed the throne as King Fuad II. Fuad's largely symbolic reign was cut short, however, with the establishment of a republic the following year. Following Farouk's abdication, the royal family went into exile (aboard the royal yacht "El-Mahrousa"); in March 1953, bored with the itinerant lifestyle and Farouk's philandering, Narriman returned to Egypt with her mother, to her former position as a commoner. She and Farouk divorced on 2 February 1954. On 3 May 1954 she married Dr. Adham al-Nakib of Alexandria, who had been Farouk's personal physician. They had one son, Akram, and subsequently divorced in 1961. In 1967 she married Ismail Fahmi, another medical practitioner. She lived in seclusion in the CairoHeliopolis until her death. Nariman Fahmi died on 16 February 2005 in Dar al-Fouad hospital, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, after a brain hemorrhage. Her last years were spent in seclusion in an apartment in Cairo's upscale Heliopolis neighborhood, where she lived with her husband, Dr. Fahmi.

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