She was the daughter of a high ranking Egyptian official and the last Queen of Egypt as the second wife of King Farouk. The beauty married the King after he’d divorced his first wife after a failure to produce a male heir.
Her Early Life
Narriman Sadek was born on 31 October 1933 in Cairo to Hussain Fahmi Sadiq Bey – the Egyptian Deputy Minister of Transportation – and Asila Kamil. An only child, her name in Turkish means “the beautiful fascinating of vivacious spirit.” She was doted on by her parents whose main focus was ensuring that she was happy.
She attended a normal Egyptian school which was adjacent to the villa where she lived and completed her secondary schooling. She was known for her beauty, manners and calm demeanour.
The Path to Queenship
With her beauty, manners and personality, many men wanted Narriman to become their wife. She became engaged to Dr Mohamed Zaki Hashim. However, the King made it known that he was looking for a new bride who was Muslim, a virgin, 100% Egyptian and not from the aristocracy, and 17-year-old Narriman fit the bill. She ended up breaking off her engagement to Mohamed and the rest, as they say, is history.
Rumours have said that she met King Farouk in a jewellery shop while there to select an engagement ring with Dr Hashim, and the Royal Palace later got in contact with her family. Narriman’s father was said to not be happy with the match.
She was sent to the Egyptian embassy in Rome for six months to be trained in royal duties and gained the nickname “Cinderella of the Nile” as she came from a middle-class background. She was said to have studied royal etiquette, history and several languages. Narriman was also put on a diet while in Rome as the King reportedly wanted her to lose weight and return weighing no more than 110 pounds.
The couple married on 6 May 1951 in Abdeen Palace. Narriman wore a gown with 20,000 diamonds and became the Queen of Egypt.
Narriman, Queen of Egypt
It wasn’t long after their wedding that Narriman fulfilled her most important job as Queen consort. She fell pregnant, and on 16 January 1952, she gave birth to King Farouk’s long-awaited male heir, Ahmed Fuad.
Just a few months later, the Egyptian Revolution began with the aim of overthrowing King Farouk.
The Egyptian monarchy was not to last, and Narriman was not the consort for long. After the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution, King Farouk abdicated on 26 July 1952. Their son, who was just a few months old, became King Fuad II. He had a short reign (in exile) until 18 June 1953 when Egypt became a republic.
The End of the Story
The family lived in exile from March 1953 after Farouk’s abdication. The King had a wandering eye, and the Queen had no patience for that or their new lifestyle. So, she returned to Egypt to live with her mother and divorced the King in February 1954.
Narriman was a commoner once again and would later marry for a second time that same year. She married the King’s personal doctor, and they had one son. The couple divorced in 1961. She married for a third time in 1967. They remained married until her death from a brain haemorrhage on 16 February 2005. She was 71.