When King Farouk married Safinaz Zulficar and made her his Queen Farida, there were some major celebrations, and of course major BLING.
In the Egyptian tradition, the groom doesn’t give the bride an engagement ring, but an engagement set or parure called “Shabka” (Although now more couples are opting for the western diamond ring).
But the king’s gift to Farida wasn’t exactly a parure, and the pieces she wore on her wedding days(s) weren’t the only pieces she received.
The new queen received a tiara with peacock and Lotus floral motifs which is said to have been a gift of Queen Nazli’s (the queen mother) tiaras (Nazli had a huge collection and it’s unclear whether this was in her collection or if she had it made to gift to Farida).
we don’t have any coloured pictures of the tiara but it’s said that it is made of diamonds with a rare emerald, but looking at the only clear picture we have (which most probably was from a magazine from the time of the wedding), we can see no emeralds. At the top of the tiara, there’s a heart shaped diamond, I guess it’s 3-4 carats (just guessing I’m no a jeweller). the tiara was estimated to be worth more than 7000 pounds. and the queen wore it many times after the wedding. (example)
|The Pic is very large, Click to Enlarge|
The King also gifted his queen an amazing Boucheron necklace that was bought in Paris prior to the wedding, the masterpiece that was made of 114 diamonds and weighed 346 carats was created for the Universal Exhibition of 1937 and was the most admirable piece there, King Farouk bought the necklace for 2,800,000 francs (read that it was about 27000 pounds but not sure if the number is accurate). This necklace was a favourite of the queen and she would wear it over the years until the divorce.
Farida also wore earrings that we don’t know whether they were newly purchased or passed down from Queen Nazli’s jewelry stash.
The couple got divorced in 1948, Which caused much anger all over Egypt as the public considered Farida one of them and the link between them and their sovereign. people went on protests with slogans of how Farida is too good and pure to be married into such a family! and the next queen(Narriman) didn’t wear any of Farida’s jewelry although we have a story that the king ordered Farida to give him back all the jewelry he had given her even those that were gifts (The same story mentioned that Farida alerted him that the tiara was missing a diamond and that she would pay for a replacement herself, still not sure if that’s true or not and which tiara was meant).
4 years after the divorce the 23rd of July revolution happened and the king left Egypt and left the jewelry behind him. (not all of them as you’ll know in the coming posts).
So What happened to the jewelry?!
The answer is no one knows! the earrings might be in The Royal Jewels Museum in Alexandria as There’s a video from British Pathé that was shot in 1954(December) it’s said that it was prior to an auction, but somehow most of the jewellery in the video is now in the museum, I visited the museum myself but I didn’t notice the earrings probably because I wasn’t looking for them, however even if they’re not on show in the museum that doesn’t mean they’re lost as most of the Royal jewels are not on display, but instead are kept in giant boxes in the Central Bank’s safe and The Egyptian Museum’s storehouse.
And while the tiara hasn’t been seen ever since the divorce, On March the 29th 1957 many newspapers published that an auction would take place in Cairo and a diamond tiara that belonged to Queen Farida would be in the auction along with some rare stamps and other royal properties. Was it this tiara? Was it sold in the auction or not? still a mystery.
|The Milwaukee Sentinel|
Yes, As there’s a project to restore The Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis and turn it into another royal jewelry museum (we don’t know if the project still exists or not) also we might get some investigations, or maybe a reporter will be lucky enough to browse the HUGE collection kept in storehouses, But it’s unlikely for these jewelry to be seen worn, I believe the time of seeing them worn has gone, we might see them in museums or exhibits but not on a woman, and for sure not on an Egyptian princess/queen.
In April 1950, Life magazine published this photo of Queen Farida, King Farouk, and Queen Nazli and wrote under it that it was taken on his wedding day, And as we know Life is never wrong so we can guess that this was one of the wedding balls in 1938 (Yes they had several galas and balls).
Queen Farida seems to be wearing the same earrings along with her Boucheron necklace and ANOTHER TIARA, looking at the video from British Pathé we can see the same tiara but this time as a necklace!
And So now we know that her majesty The Queen had a convertible piece of jewellery!! However Farida didn’t seem to love this tiara/necklace much, we have few pictures of it as a tiara but never as a necklace..
Farida was wearing a lace(?) long-sleeved gown probably by The House of Worth or the French couturier Molyneux.
|Priness Chevikar, Princess Nimetalla Mokhtar, Sultana Melek and Queen farida.|
|Queen Farida wearing the tiara several years after the wedding for her birthday photo session (With the Boucheron Necklace).|
But we are sure that Queen Nazli is wearing Chanel as we know that Chanel had the honor of creating all of the Queen’s gowns for the wedding as well as the young princesses’ gowns (That means in case you didn’t notice that the dress worn by Princess fawzia below was designed by Chanel).
The Queen’s mother’s ensemble is actually a sleeveless Vneck dress with a fur cape on top of it. Queen Nazli is also wearing a tiara that she didn’t wear so often, and in later years would lend to the young Princess Faiza, and stacked bracelets with probably rubies that by that time she had been owning for many years, as we can see them in this picture
I think the Peacock tiara is unique, And the fact that it’s made of diamonds only makes it versatile and easier in matching with clothes and sashes, but if it really had an emerald which is unlikely it would make it harder to match, I also think Queen Farida had the personality to pull it off, What do you think about it?