Farah Diba was born on 14 October 1938 in Tehran as the only child of Captain Sohrab Diba (1899–1948) and his wife, Farideh Ghotbi (1920–2000). She was born into a prosperous family, whose fortunes were diminished after her father’s early death.Embed from Getty Images
In early 1959, while studying architecture in Paris, Farah was introduced to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran at the Iranian Embassy.Embed from Getty Images
After a short courtship, The Shah of Iran announced his engagement to Farah Diba on 23 November 1959.Embed from Getty Images
The Shah of Iran pictured with his fiancee Farah Diba and the Queen Mother at a private engagement party in Tehran.
At 21, Farah married Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (40) on 20 December 1959 at the Hall of Mirrors of the lavish Golestan Palace in Tehran. She was the third wife of the Shah.Embed from Getty Images
Farah Diba makes her entrance to Golestan Palace on her wedding day with the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Following the bride are many bridemaids carrying her wedding dress trail.Embed from Getty Images
The young Queen of Iran (as she was styled at the time) wore a stunning gown designed by Yves Saint Laurent, then a designer at the House of Dior.Embed from Getty Images
The Shah of Iran, cigarette in hand, wore the blue uniform of Commander-in-Chief as he sits beside his bride Farah Diba wearing a Dior dress. The bridesmaids are wearing crowns.Embed from Getty Images
The Dior embroidered with sequins, pearls, silver thread and rhinestones was sleeveless but featured a matching modest coat to go over top.Embed from Getty Images
For the wedding, Farah also wore the newly commissioned Noor-ol-Ain Diamond tiara.
The Centre piece of the tiara is The Noor-ul-Ain (“the light of the eye”), one of the largest pink diamonds in the world.Embed from Getty Images
It was designed by Harry Winston with a modern design, featuring 324 pink, yellow, and white diamonds set in platinum. It is said to weigh around 2 kg (4.4 lb).
Farah Diba also wore a diamond necklace and pear-shaped yellow diamond drops.Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
In 1967, Queen Farah was crowned Shahbanu, or Empress, a title created specially for her.
Empress Farah and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi remained together for twenty one years, until the Shah’s death on 27 July 1980 in Cairo, Egypt.Embed from Getty Images
They had four children together:
- Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi (born 31 October 1960), heir to the now defunct Iranian throne.
- Princess Farahnaz Pahlavi (born 12 March 1963);
- Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi (28 April 1966 – 4 January 2011);
- Princess Leila Pahlavi (27 March 1970 – 10 June 2001).
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