Princess Charlene's Fashion

Queen Farida Wedding Gown


When King Farouk got married to the commoner aristocratic Safinaz ZulFicar in 1938 it was one of the Middle East's most glittering nights, or actually more than one as the celebrations lasted for almost a week!

King Farouk who was 17 when they married first met Safinaz -her name in Turkish means the beautiful woman- at a reception at Abdeen Palace. Safinaz's mother Kareema was the daughter of Mohammed Said Pasha who was a prime minister more than once, she also was the sister of Mahmoud Said, the famous artist and painter who would encourage Safinaz to draw. Kareema Hanem was one of Queen Nazli's friends and ladies-in-waiting.
Farouk reportedly asked her about that beautiful girl sitting with his sisters (Safinaz was good friends with princesses Fawiza and Faiza) she answered : "it's Safinaz my daughter" and he blushed!
Safinaz at the age of 7, painted by her uncle

Later in the same year Safinaz and her mother joined the royal family in their vacation in Europe (Farouk  asked Nazli to invite Safinaz), and it was in The Alps where these two fell in love.

Shortly after their return to Egypt, a royal engagement was announced, Safinaz was 16 years old!

The official engagement photo
Safinaz, who got her name changed to Farida to start with (F), The king's favorite letter, got  her trousseau from Paris and Egypt.
We're gonna discuss her wedding gown here, and her jewelry and the rest of the trousseau in another post.

King Farouk chose The House of Worth to design the world's youngest queen's wedding gown, Worth was the traditional couturier for queens (another post about it soon).

In The Royal Egypt weddings were done differently, unlike in Europe the bride doesn't attend the ceremony. what actually happens(ed)?  will tell you in another post this week.

The House of Worth under the direction of Jacques and Roger Worth created a silver lace over satin gown with long lace sleeves. its cost was reported to be 3000 dollars, but some other newspapers back then reported that its cost was 4000 dollars.

The original sketch and yes I'm gonna brag that I'm the only one to find it and so on!
 The gown also featured a slightly gathered bodice and an eight yard (around 7 and a half meters) train swung from the shoulders and made of silver lamé.

the veil was made of tulle, edged with the silver lace of the gown, the blusher part didn't have the lace edging. the veil was about half a yard longer than the train.

The Alexandrian bride who left with her family their palace in Gianaclis, Alexandria and stayed before the wedding in Shammas Villa in Heliopolis, Cairo where these photos were taken by her photographer Alban caused sensation but also controversy as she was the first queen to pose in her wedding day! but even the controversy wasn't all negative as Farida was considered the people's queen.

The new Queen of Egypt arrived in Qubba Palace wearing her gown, Sash of The Order of El-Kamal, a tiara, a pear of earrings, a necklace, a feather fan, and satin heels. (more about the jewelry and trousseau in a coming post) where she was met by the king on the entrance of the staircase.

they greeted the people outside.

and then they entered to welcome the guests and receive their wishes
here we see Queen Nazli, the queen mother in a Chanel gown standing beside the king.

here's a part of the celebrations (in English). The gifts, other days' celebrations will have their own post.

For me I think the gown was perfect, Farida was just 16, and she was also a delicate lady, so it wouldn't have been right if she'd worn something heavily embroidered or flashy, yet the gown is still glamorous. and the silver lace and the lamé train keep it away from being too simple or too understated, glamorous enough to make you know once you see it  that itt's a royal gown.

What do you think of this Worth Paris creation for Queen Farida in 1938? do you think a similar gown can be worn nowadays by a royal bride?

photos: Max Karkegi, Ahmed Kamel, and other flickr accounts


  1. That gown is gorgeous! I love the idea of the silver color, too.

    At first, I thought "there is no way that woman is 16 and her husband 17" they just looked much older to me.... until I scrolled down and looked at all the photos! They were practically babies! I'm looking forward to your post about the jewels.

  2. Love your post!
    It's very complete and you showed us a little about the Egyptian uses for a wedding.
    The gown was perfect!
    It's right for the age of the Queen and for the time, the 30s.
    I think it was a good choice made by TTMM.
    I'll wait about the other posts... jewels, Egyptian weddings, and all the other secrets!
    By the way, congrats for the original sketch of the gown, good work!

  3. Oh, and could I ask for this kind of post, but with the wedding gown of Princess Fawzia of Egypt with the late Sha of Iran?, plase!!!!!!!

    1. Here's a post about Princess Fawzia.

      Post regarding the wedding soon :)

  4. Farida was a tasteful queen she was truly classy and the people of Egypt and Sudan loved her I truly admire the gown and I find it more fashionable than some royal gowns these days.