Farouk King of Egypt
- Category : Notable-Famous-Royal-family
- Type : PM
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 1
Egyptian royalty, the son and successor of Fuad I, ruler of Egypt 1937-1952. His reign began with a sense of promise and hope and ended in scandal, corruption, thievery and indolence. Educated in England, he returned to take over the throne with a life-style that became increasingly profligate along with political ineptitude. In the beginning, the reign of King Farouk was greeted with enthusiasm by both the Wafd party (the largest Egyptian party) and by the rapidly growing Muslim Brotherhood. Farouk was, amazingly, the first Egyptian ruler of the descendants of Mohammed Ali Pasha to speak fluent Arabic. Turkish had been the court language of all his predecessors. Moreover, Farouk seemed to have nationalist sympathies.
The young ruler was, unfortunately, too weak-willed to defy the British. Within a year he had signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty which gave British forces the right to remain in the Suez Canal Zone while ostensibly ending the British occupation of Egypt. His interests leaned away from politics and more toward fast cars and fast women. While racing one of his more than 100 cars on the road to Cairo, he caused pedestrians to leap for their lives. He had a lifelong habit of "collecting." Whenever he saw something of interest, he took it, even to heisting Winston Churchill’s pocket watch!
Farouk’s appetite was legendary. He began his day with a breakfast of 30 eggs with toast and sweet tea. He followed this with lobster, steak or lamb. At night – after a full dinner – he would snack on a tin of caviar or such sweets as ice cream. The slender handsome boy-king soon became a bloated gourmand (though he never drank alcohol) who could not wedge his bulging belly behind the wheel of his sports car.
With the outbreak of World War II the Wafd Party threw its support behind the allies on the understanding that Egypt would gain full independence once the war was over. But the hatred of British rule was so intense by this time that clandestine support for the Germans existed in nationalist factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood. A constitutional monarch, Farouk was frequently at odds with the Wafd. Because of his pro-Axis sympathies during World War II, the British imposed upon him a pro-British premier in 1942. Egypt became a major strategic asset and base of operations during World War II. With allied victory and the end of the war the Wafd party called for the immediate evacuation of British troops from Egypt. The British were slow to respond and Egyptian resentment exploded in anti-British riots and strikes, instigated by the highly organized Muslim Brotherhood. Under joint pressure from the Brotherhood and the Wafd, British troops were evacuated from Alexandria and the Canal Zone in 1947.
The following year the Arab world suffered a shattering blow when a joint Arab invasion of the newly declared state of Israel was ignominiously defeated by the smaller Israeli army. Ashamed, and appalled by the decadence and gross incompetence of their leaders, a group of idealistic young Egyptian officers were to emerge as leaders of a revolution which would alter the course of modern Arab history. In 1952, with Farouk regarded as a corrupt playboy, an army coup led by General Naguib and Gamal Abdal Nasser forced him to abdicate in favor of his infant son, Fuad II.
Farouk married the daughter of a titled family, Farida, on 1/20/1938 and they had three daughters. He soon tired of her and she was subjected to humiliation and indignity with his disregard, infidelities and insults that caused her a great loss of face. They divorced 11/17/1948. He had made a second marriage in 1951 to a commoner, Narriman Sadek, who gave him the male heir he wanted the following year.
However, in 1953 the Egyptian Arab Republic was declared. Forced to abdicate; Farouk fled the country and found refuge abroad. In exile in Rome, living as a royal potentate, Farouk indulged himself in every debauchery, growing yearly more obese and gross. He took over entire hotels for his parties and gambled from dusk to dawn in Monte Carlo, spending money with a pathological abandon. At restaurants he would literally order everything on the menu. His death of a heart attack finally came while he was stuffing himself at a restaurant on 3/18/1965, age 45.