King Farouk I of Egypt’s life was a brutal lesson that “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” From birth, the ruler’s whole world was a procession of luxury, debauchery, and extravagance, but this mass of privilege slowly corrupted the spoiled boy into a cruel, twisted man. But oh, did Farouk ever pay for his sins.
King Farouk Of Egypt Facts
1. His Birth Was Unusual
When Farouk was born on February 11, 1920, it was into unimaginable wealth. The first son and eldest child of King Fuad I of Egypt and Nazli Sabri, the little boy was already a celebrated heir before he could even lift a finger, and called the plush Abdeen Palace in Cairo his home. Yet behind all this gold and glory lay a crooked truth.
2. His Family Was Super Dysfunctional
Egypt at the time was still very much a male-dominated, patriarchal society—but even by these standards, Farouk’s family dynamic was utterly disturbing. His father King Fuad demanded total control over his mother Nazli, even confining her to the palace. And if you think this had a negative effect on young Farouk, you’d be right.
3. He Lived A Sheltered Life
Surprise surprise, Farouk suffered immensely under his strict father, too. Case in point: Fuad only allowed Farouk to see his mother for a mere hour each day, and also confined his son to the palace grounds. Farouk didn’t even see the Great Pyramids at Giza until he was an adult, despite growing up right beside them. This was a recipe for instant disaster.
4. He Was The Center Of His Universe
To say Farouk was horribly spoiled doesn’t even begin to cover it. For one, he was the only boy among four sisters, which meant he was the center of attention at all times, and it was a totally normal thing for servants to greet the child by kissing the ground and then his hand. Yet even the golden child Farouk had a fatal flaw…
5. He Couldn’t Do One Thing
As the little master of the house, Farouk grew up knowing he would one day rule all of Egypt. Then one day, his advisors noticed a serious issue. The young prince wasn’t just bad at his school studies; he was downright dismal. He actually began one of his literature essays with the “brilliant” line, “My father had a lot of ministers and I have a cat.” This did not get better.
6. He Had A Vicious Sense Of Humor
In addition to Farouk’s total disinterest in learning, he also became a notorious practical joker—and his pranks were more infuriating than funny. One day, he asked a visiting Queen Marie of Romania if she wanted to see the royal horses. When she innocently replied yes, he released the steeds into his father’s harem, where they promptly pooped all over the floor.
7. He Failed His Biggest Test
When Farouk was a teenager, his behavior caught up to him in a big way. Farouk’s family, like any royals worth their salt, desperately wanted him to get into the prestigious Eton College in England. He…most certainly did not, failing his entrance exams before he could even proceed to the next step. And when his father found out why Farouk failed, he was livid.
8. He Developed Very Bad Habits
Although Farouk got the best tutors, the prince didn’t spend his prep time studying. Instead, he gallivanted around London with the Prince of Wales, attending football matches in the day and cathouses in the night. To be fair, Farouk was under the mistaken assumption that on the day of the test, someone would give him all the answers.
Yeah, this is the guy we’re dealing with—should anyone be surprised he met such an infamous end?
9. He Lost His Father Young
Farouk may have had a dissolute youth, but no one could deserve the tragedy that came for him next. When he was just 16 years old, his father King Fuad suffered a fatal heart attack, passing on April 28, 1936. Suddenly, the teenager was now the King of all Egypt, with an enormous burden on his shoulders. He wasn’t even close to prepared for it.
10. He Started Off As “Beloved”
At first, however, the new King Farouk seemed to have a charmed start to his reign. When he returned home to Egypt, immense crowds greeted him in Alexandria and cheered at their new ruler, “Long live the King of the Nile!” all while nicknaming him “the beloved king.” Sadly, it would all start to unravel in a matter of months.
11. He Made A Powerful Enemy
Although the people of Egypt might have been optimistic about their bright young king, all was not well beyond the palace doors. Not only did everyone on the inside know that Farouk was green and petulant, Farouk’s cousin Prince Mohammad Ali was next in line for the throne, and immediately started plotting to overthrow him. Farouk’s first weeks as king didn’t help matters…
12. He Had Disgusting Habits
From almost the moment he became king, Farouk threw himself into royal life with an abandon his previous debauchery had only hinted at. The details are disturbing. While many of Egypt’s citizens starved, Farouk reportedly ate 600 oysters a week. Not content with this, he also bought a candy red Bentley, then demanded that no one else paint their own cars red. Oof.
13. He Had A Strange Relationship With Albania
Obviously, Farouk loved ostentatious displays of his charmed life—but he also loved shows of brutal force. He infamously kept an armed guard of 30 Albanians around him at all times, saying he would only trust an Albanian national with his life. These bodyguards were an unmistakable warning not to cross him…but people sure tried.
14. He Loved A Sinister Man
When Farouk first took the throne, his advisors tried to push him into a pro-British stance—the Brits were, after all, occupying the country—but the king staunchly refused. Alright, fair. Except instead, Farouk took up a much more malevolent interest. He became obsessed with Italy and Benito Mussolini, even firing all of his British servants and replacing them with Italians.
Still, problems were on the horizon that no petty revenge could solve.
15. He Was Incredibly Attractive
It’s easy to see why the Egyptian people were initially enthralled with their new King. When he was a young man, Farouk stood at a trim 6 feet tall, and many considered him a breathtakingly handsome sex symbol as well as “the very model of a young Muslim gentleman.” Soon enough, then, his love life was making a big splash…
16. He Had A Cinderella Story
On August 24, 1937, the country rejoiced when King Farouk announced his engagement to Safinaz Zulficar, a beautiful commoner who was only the daughter of a humble judge. Mamas and their girls sighed all the way down the Nile about this fairy tale romance—but nobody knew the real, ominous story about the betrothal.
17. He Made A Cunning Plan
King Farouk might have been a spoiled brat, but he was a smart spoiled brat. So when it came time for him to choose a bride, Farouk and his mother, the Dowager Queen Nazli, had shrewdly proposed marriage to a commoner to boost the extravagant king’s declining popularity with regular Egyptian workers. Yes, this fairy tale was actually a ploy…and it gets more awful than that.
18. He Wanted A Teenage Bride
When the poor girl Safinaz first received Farouk’s attentions, she was only 15 years old—and that’s exactly how Farouk planned it. After all, he and his mother wanted the future Queen to be pliable and naive. In fact, Safinaz’s father angrily protested because of her age at first, forcing Farouk to pay him off with the princely title of “pasha” to shut him up. Bad omen? What bad omen?
19. He Forced His Wife To Change Her Name
When Farouk started courting his bride-to-be, it must have all seemed glamorous to the young girl. Her Prince Charming arrived at her 16th birthday party in an Alfa Romeo, before getting down on one knee in front of all her guests. He even gave her a new name, “Farida,” since he believed “F” names were lucky. Time would prove that one very wrong.
20. He Was Very Unsophisticated
King Farouk was used to the plush side of life, but that didn’t mean he was a sophisticated man, oh no. On the contrary, one of his many mistresses, Irene Guinle, revealed just how coarse the ruler could be. As she put it, “Farouk never wrote a letter, never read a paper, never listened to music. His idea of culture was movies.” Honestly, same.
21. He Had An Extravagant Wedding
On January 20, 1938, King Farouk married Queen Farida at Qubba Palace in Cairo in a lavish royal ceremony done up to every single one of Farouk’s gaudy tastes. Still, this opulence was just a means to an end; Farouk was barely down the aisle before he began demanding a son and heir from his new wife. This is where the trouble started.
22. He Was A Teenage Father
Not one to shirk on her duties, the teenage Queen Farida got pregnant almost immediately. But nine months later, Farouk learned a hard lesson: Just because he wanted something, didn’t mean he would always get it. Although Farida gave birth to a healthy child and Farouk became a father at 18, that child was a girl. His response was…not good.
23. His Enemies Closed In
Farouk was deeply, devastatingly disappointed in his newborn daughter, whom he named Princess Farial. And although the king consoled himself that he and Queen Farida had plenty of time to make a son, he also knew his cousin Prince Mohammad Ali was still at his back and after his crown. And that wasn’t the only problem…
24. He Had A Family Feud
For all that Farouk’s mother Nazli had hand-picked Farida out of the crowd, the women started squabbling almost instantly. It turns out that Farida did not take kindly to Nazli’s many attempts to control her, and the two queens hated each other with such a passion, even the newspapers couldn’t fail to notice it and splash it all over embarrassing headlines.
25. He Had No Friends
If you’re getting the idea that King Farouk wasn’t very good with people, you’d be right. But the reason behind this is heartbreaking. After his isolated childhood, the ruler continued being virtually alone, with no real friends to speak of. Sure, everyone had to say yes to him when he wanted to hang out, but they weren’t doing it out of personal preference.
26. He Was Denied His Greatest Wish
By late 1939, Queen Farida was pregnant again, and on April 7, 1940, she gave birth to a girl—again. This time, King Farouk was infuriated not only with his queen, but with himself. Their marriage became strained, with Farouk retreating to the cathouses and Queen Farida retreating into herself. Then the wheels very much came off.
27. He Thought He Had A Nasty Medical Condition
Yes, Farouk wanted to secure his dynasty, but he had a more personal problem when it came to not having a son. Many people in Egypt believed that if a man couldn’t produce a boy, it said bad things about his masculinity—so Farouk went to chilling lengths to prove his manhood. After consulting with doctors about his “condition,” he began eating certain foods to increase his, er, virility. And then the king took this way overboard.
28. He Had A Disorder
Farouk had always had a healthy appetite, so much so that his father, feeling the family tended toward obesity, put him on strict diets as a child. Well, now that he was trying for a son, all bets were off. Farouk became so obsessed with eating Manly Man Foods, he developed bulimia, going on binges and purging himself afterward, gaining a huge amount of weight. Did this work? Sadly, not at all.
29. He Was Humiliated In The Bedroom
Even as he was driving himself to near madness to get a son, Farouk’s obsession backfired on him. With her husband off his rocker, Queen Farida might have struck up an affair with the Egyptian aristocrat Wahid Yussri, a possibility that made Farouk both enraged and mortified. Maybe that’s why his next actions were so unhinged.
30. His Mother Betrayed Him
It’s safe to say that King Farouk was having a very bad year in 1940—but it was about to get apocalyptic. With all this going on around him, Farouk also found out that his widowed mother was having a full-blown dalliance with his old tutor, the mega accomplished Prince Ahmed Hassanein. The situation turned violent in two seconds flat.
31. He Made A Violent Threat
Furious that someone was boinking his mother, Farouk committed an unforgivable act. After stumbling upon the lovers reading the Quran to each other in the bedroom, the king pulled a gun on Hassanein, then threatened, “You are disgracing the memory of my father, and if I end it by killing one of you, then God will forgive me.”
He managed to control himself this time, but soon his bad decisions were all over the world stage.
32. He Loved Evil
In 1939, WWII broke out, and by the 1940s King Farouk was caught in the middle in a big way. Egypt was neutral, but his ministers were very concerned about his pro-Italian and pro-German tendencies. They forced him to break ties with those countries to seem even just a little bit objective. Of course, Farouk still privately backed the Axis powers, AKA Team Evil. But he didn’t stop there…
33. He Was A Kleptomaniac
Farouk’s appreciation for the finer things in life was notorious throughout Egypt—but few knew his worst secret. Believe it or not, the supreme King of Egypt was also a blazing kleptomaniac, and he couldn’t help but take trinkets and mementos from any Egyptian aristocrat he stayed with. Yet his most infamous heist was also his most dangerous.
34. He Stole From Winston Churchill
In August 1942, King Farouk met with the famously cantankerous, brilliant, and intimidating British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to help repair relations between their two countries. In the meeting, King Farouk pilfered the Prime Minister’s gold watch. Yes, really. Only, Farouk must not have been as good a thief as he thought he was, because he didn’t get off scot-free in the slightest.
35. He Lied To The Prime Minister’s Face
The quick-witted Churchill knew almost immediately that he’d been swindled. Still, no one could have expected just how slippery Farouk would get. When the British statesman confronted Farouk about the sleight of hand, Farouk claimed he’d only done it as a practical joke, since he knew “the English had a sense of humor.”
Yet even this embarrassing interlude couldn’t compare to the next blow to his private life.
36. His Wife Double-Crossed Him
King Farouk and Queen Farida had been living in misery ever since the birth of their second daughter, and Farouk soon made a grim discovery. He found out, for certain this time, that his wife was having an affair with the debonair British painter Simon Elwes. The king became so infuriated, Elwes even had to flee the country. But the hits kept on coming.
37. He Was Involved In A Suspicious Pregnancy
Just after uncovering his wife’s affair, Farouk got good and bad news all at once: Queen Farida was pregnant. See, the timing was as suspicious to Farouk as it was to everyone else, and his rival Miles Lampson even scored a point by snidely “congratulating” Farouk, saying he hoped it was a son…and that the boy was actually his and not Simon Elwes’s.
38. He “Lost” Another Son
In the end, the tidings turned nightmarish, at least for a King of Egypt bent on having a son and heir. On December 15, 1943, Queen Farida gave birth to yet another daughter, Princess Fadia. Like clockwork, King Farouk was utterly aghast and more desperate than he’d ever been—but this time he took it up a devastating notch.
39. He Blamed His Wife For Everything
Since King Farouk had been doing everything the doctor ordered, he decided this was a definite “it’s not me, it’s you” situation, and lay the blame squarely at Queen Farida’s feet, accusing her of being somehow physically unable to give him the boys he wanted. From then on, their marriage was all but a sham…though Farouk had bigger problems to worry about.
40. He Gave A Snappy Comeback
WWII wasn’t good personally or professionally for Farouk, and he made enemies like some people make friends. When one of his British ministers, Miles Lampson, tried to get Farouk to drop his Italian servants to look better to the Allied powers, Farouk’s comeback hit home. Farouk snapped back in reference to Lampson’s Italian wife, “I’ll get rid of my Italians when you get rid of yours.”
Then again, Farouk probably should have been nicer to Lampson, because the minister would soon get a brutal revenge.
41. He Disrespected His Own People
Even as WWII rationing measures swept the Allied and Axis powers alike, Farouk remained a committed hedonist. In an act of sweeping selfishness, he even kept the lights on in his palace in Alexandria during a bombing blackout in the conflict. Yeah, that went down about as badly as you’d expect—well, actually much worse.
42. He Received A Vicious Ultimatum
Besides these blunders, Farouk also started infighting with the Egyptian government and threatening to fire the Prime Minister. Not a good look, and by 1942 his popularity was hanging by a thread. That’s when his old enemies swooped in. None other than Miles Lampson gave him an ultimatum: Accept the government or abdicate.
From this simple choice sprung absolute chaos.
43. His Palace Became A Battleground
The next scene was like something out of a movie. When Farouk refused to budge, Lampson stormed the king’s property at Abdeen Palace with tanks and scores of armed men. Farouk’s foes then shot down the locked doors and burst into the king’s sanctum, demanding to see their ruler. When the dust settled, it ended in utter humiliation.
44. He Suffered A Huge Embarrassment
Initially, Farouk had planned to slay Lampson if he so much as touched him, but his old tutor Prince Hassanein stepped in and calmed the king down. Indeed, Hassanein rationalized the situation so much that he somehow convinced the hot-headed ruler to accept the new government in exchange for keeping the power and wealth he loved so dearly. It was an agreement everyone came to regret.
45. He Cruised For Women
If you thought King Farouk’s life was dissolute before this enormous embarrassment, hold onto your hats. After emasculating himself in front of his rival Lampson, Farouk desperately wanted to prove once more he was a virile strongman. He jumped full force into “collecting” beautiful women, even getting his valet to trawl the city looking for candidates to bring to him. And if they refused? Well…
46. He Kidnapped A Teenager
Knowing how powerful Farouk was, not many women rebuffed his advances. So when one girl finally did, Farouk turned from amorous to terrifying. One of the 16-year-old daughters of the powerful Ades family initially slipped through his fingers…so Farouk threatened to kill all the gazelles on the clan’s farm unless they handed her over forcibly; they did. Unfortunately, these tendencies only grew more alarming.
47. He Earned A Strange Nickname
Around this time, Farouk earned the cool-sounding nickname “The King of the Night,” but this wasn’t a compliment. The moniker stemmed from the copious amount of time he spent in Cairo nightclubs, where he usually whiled away the wee hours by playing childish pranks on patrons, including throwing bread balls at them. Real manly Farouk.
48. He Lost His Touch
While Farouk was out playing childish pranks at nightclubs, his kingdom was truly going to ruin. He continued to alienate his government, trying to dismiss Prime Ministers left, right, and center, and generally treated his own people with disdain while pretending to be their friend. Indeed, his most ridiculous misstep was nothing short of mortifying.
49. He Made An Embarrassing Gesture
In 1945, the Egyptian people had long asked for land reforms and government support. What did the “great” King Farouk give them instead? Ping pong balls. Yep; he’d throw them out of his planes down to his citizens like they were manna from heaven, when really the balls were just redeemable for candy. Shoddy social reform never tasted so sweet, but oh did it ever come back to bite him.
50. His People Turned On Him
Farouk and Queen Farida stayed together for three more hollow years after the birth of their third daughter, but by November 1948, they were done for good, and Farouk officially announced the divorce. Well, he’d made a fatal mistake. Unlike our Farouk, Farida was unbelievably popular with the common people, and they didn’t take well to their king throwing her in the trash like last night’s takeout.
Scrambling, Farouk tried to solve the problem with a very ill-advised fix…
51. He Tried To Trick His Country
Nobody is good at breakups, but Farouk took the idea of a rebound to new heights. In response to Egypt’s civil unrest, the 28-year-old king decided he’d just…marry again! After all, his thinking went, everybody loved royal weddings, and he could use a new flame to distract his people from, well, everything else. Thing is, it totally worked.
52. He Had Bizarre Wedding Demands
Farouk set out in search of a bride before the ink was even dry on his divorce papers. His demands were practically perverse. Although his specifications for a new fiancée included some more reasonable details, like she had to be of Egyptian ancestry, he also bizarrely insisted she be an only child and, most disturbingly, 16 years old. So who was the lucky girl?
53. He Got His Very Own Disney Princess
Despite Farouk’s extremely specific wish list, his advisors managed to find him everything he was looking for in Narriman Sadek, a sturdy, upper-middle-class girl who could take on the responsibility of being a baby-making machine. When word got out that Farouk was interested, people started calling Narriman “The Cinderella of the Nile.” Yet like all Farouk’s fairy tales, this one had a darker side, too.
54. He Bought Off A Rival
For all that Narriman seemed like the perfect pick for a bride, there was a huge problem no one could ignore. She was already engaged. Her current fiancé—a PhD candidate in economics at Harvard—was no slouch, but he was no match for King Farouk, either. In a familiar move, the ruler simply granted Narriman’s father a title and voila, no more engagement.
55. He Threw A Legendary Bachelor Party
Right after his betrothal, Farouk set off for, as one historian put it, “the most excessively lavish, self-indulgent bachelor party in the annals of sybaritism.” So while tensions continued to rise in his kingdom, Farouk and his boys ate, drank, and flew planes all around France on a very public bender for two whole months. When the prodigal king did finally return home, he had one rude awakening.
56. He Drove His Country To Ruin
Surprising no one except maybe Farouk himself, Egypt’s political nightmare didn’t get better overnight. In fact, it only got worse in its ruler’s absence, with Prime Minister Mostafa Nahas running the country into the ground with corruption. It was like Farouk had gone out for dinner and come back to a burning house. Worst of all, people were starting to notice…
57. He Received A Bizarre Warning
Upon Farouk’s return to Egypt, he found a letter on his desk from his opposition in parliament. Its contents made his blood run cold. In the message, a “friendly” rival warned the king that “a revolt is near; that would…leave the country in a state of financial, moral and political bankruptcy.” Did this premonition stop Farouk? What do you think?
58. His Honeymoon Was Notorious
Instead of looking at his life and reconsidering his choices, King Farouk just pushed the pedal down further toward disaster. When he married Queen Narriman in 1951, the royal couple took another months-long vacation, honeymooning around Europe. To add insult to injury, reporters spotted Farouk eating gargantuan helpings of food…during Ramadan.
Still, given the next bit of news, Farouk might have said it was worth it…
59. He Finally Got His Wish
Apparently, Farouk and Narriman did something right on their honeymoon, because by the middle of 1951, the queen was pregnant. That’s when all of Farouk’s dreams came true. On January 16, 1952, his new bride gave birth to a son at last, the Crown Prince Fuad. The king was beyond excited, even making the doctor who delivered the boy into a high-ranking pasha for his efforts.
Too bad everything came tumbling down within days.
60. His City Burned Down
Less than a week after the birth of his long-awaited son, all Farouk’s sins came back to haunt him. On January 25, 1952, tensions erupted when British officers felled Egyptian auxiliary forces. The conflict sparked into a literal fire the next day, and Egyptian rioters razed a huge chunk of downtown Cairo to the ground in protest of the British occupation of Egypt.
When Farouk found out his kingdom was literally burning, it was really awkward.
61. He Was In The Middle Of A Disaster
Ironically, Farouk was busy giving little Fuad a glam birth luncheon at Abdeen Palace when the protests broke out; he only noticed something was amiss when he looked away from his 600 guests and saw ominous black smoke rising from downtown. I’d say it couldn’t go more downhill from here, but this is Farouk we’re talking about. It totally could, and did.
62. His People Made One Request
In the aftermath of this so-called “Black Saturday,” the people of Egypt still wanted to give King Farouk a chance. They just needed him to do one thing: Take a firm stance and kick the British to the curb. Yet despite his lifelong hatred of the Limeys, Farouk didn’t. His new son, his new wife, and his old bad habits distracted him too much.
Suddenly, all the remaining goodwill toward the King of Egypt evaporated, and Farouk got his terrible due.
63. He Suffered An Infamous Coup
All good things come to an end, but Farouk’s horrible reign met a violent fate. In the heat of an Egyptian summer on July 23, 1952, the pro-independence faction the Free Officers had enough of their distant king, his rule, and his government. They staged a military coup and took control of Cairo, kick-starting nothing less than the Egyptian Revolution in the process.
For a time, Farouk was safe in the coastal city of Alexandria…only, he was his own worst enemy.
64. He Shot Down Four Men
When King Farouk heard of the coup in Cairo, he absolutely lost his mind. You’re probably going to want to read this one carefully: The King of Egypt grabbed a machine gun, raced to his palace in Alexandria, and hunkered down with hundreds of men from his personal guard to protect him. Then, when the Free Officers came for him at last on the 25th, he tried to shoot them off one by one, claiming the lives of four men.
Except not even cold-blooded murder could save him now.
65. He Had To Make A Cruel Choice
On the morning of July 26, the Free Officers brought their tanks and artillery to Alexandria, and Farouk knew the jig was up. He arranged a ceasefire, then allowed the men to state their terms. Their answer shook him to the core. He could either abdicate, or they would storm the palace and execute him. This is the way his kingdom crumbled.
66. He Gave Up His Throne
At 12:30 pm on July 26, 1952, King Farouk signed the abdication papers in front of a Supreme Court justice and a witness. Less than a year later, Egypt formally abolished the monarchy, ending the 150-year rule of Farouk’s family in almost the blink of an eye. Yet although Farouk was no longer king, his last and biggest scandal was yet to come.
67. There Was One Thing He Never Did
Farouk had almost no limits to his debauchery, except for one temptation. As a Muslim, for all his carousing, extramarital relations, and pretty much every other Quran no-no, the king always refused to drink alcohol, and he stuck to this principle for his entire reign. Of course, this only gave way to another addiction entirely…
68. He Had A Coke Addiction
Instead of slinging back pints, King Farouk started guzzling down soft drinks. It became par for the course to see Farouk at the hottest nightclub in Paris with his favorite bubbly on hand—Orangeade. Although this was probably healthier than the harder stuff, the sodas also contributed to Farouk’s ever-expanding waistline. And one day, it came to an extremely awkward climax.
69. He Broke A Gurney
In 1943, Farouk was zipping around Egypt in his signature red Cadillac when he got into a horrific accident, hitting a car head-on after he tried to pass another vehicle. The consequences were devastating. Farouk broke two of his ribs in the crash, but when the ambulance came and the responders tried to lift him into the stretcher, it broke under his weight. Still, Farouk found a rather strange way to make the best of it.
70. He Overstayed His Welcome
When aides finally got their king to the hospital, Farouk decided he rather liked lying in bed all day and having beautiful nurses serve him food and give him his every desire. Accordingly, Farouk pretended he was far more injured than he really was so he could stay longer, flirting with nurses and lavishing them with gifts all the while.
71. He Had A Secret Talent
Farouk did have some hidden talents you might not expect from a, let’s be honest, philandering buffoon. While he always preferred pop culture to high culture, he had an almost preternatural ability to discern quality. During his younger years, he reportedly could pick out the most valuable rare books in the entire Cambridge library.
72. He Has An Odd Legacy
With his bombastic personal style, it’s only natural that King Farouk would have a whole type of furniture devoted to his aesthetic. The style “Louis-Farouk,” based off the ornate and heavily gilded “Louis XV” style of furniture, became popular during Farouk’s reign, and can still be found all across Egypt today in mass-produced versions.
73. He Was Manipulative
According to Farouk’s mistress Irene Guinle, the king had a pretty pathetic way of socializing. A lifelong insomniac, he had three telephones in his bedroom, and would call up his “friends” and courtiers at all hours of the night and ask them to keep him company. They’d always come right over, but I mean, what else could they do?
74. His Queen Left Him
Losing his throne was a huge indignity for the former King Farouk, but his wife dealt him one final betrayal. Fed up with his infidelity—and without a crown to keep her there anymore—Narriman left Farouk just a handful of months after Egypt abolished the monarchy. After all, this was not what she signed up for. Yet with Narriman gone, Farouk went into a rapid decline.
75. He Took One Last Mistress
The last years of the erstwhile King Farouk’s life were darn near pitiful. Even worse, they were shamefully predictable: He got older and his women stayed the same. In 1953, the middle-aged noble chose beauty pageant winner Miss Naples, Irma Capece Minutolo, as his final “official” mistress, despite how outraged it made the teenage girl’s parents. Then somehow, it got creepier.
76. He “Deflowered” A Teenager
Farouk had learned that if you throw enough money at any problem, it’s not a problem anymore. Well, he certainly wasn’t going to stop believing that adage now, and once more he paid off Irma’s parents to get them on his side. But that’s not all. The money was also something of a “dowry”…for taking their daughter’s virginity. Ew.
But just because Farouk’s women made him feel young at heart didn’t mean he had much time left.
77. He Met A Tragic End
In the end, King Farouk passed terribly young, collapsing at a restaurant in Rome in March 1965 and dying in the hospital soon after. He was just 45 years old. To many on the outside, it seemed like his fast-living life had finally caught up to him. To others, however, his early end was far more suspicious than all that.
78. His Demise Was Suspicious
Rumors still persist that Farouk didn’t pass of natural causes, and instead was targeted by Egyptian intelligence and poisoned. Still, we may never actually know the truth. Perhaps most alarmingly, nobody ever performed an official autopsy on the former King of Egypt, which makes understanding his tragic, mysterious fate all the more difficult.
79. He Kept A Damning Photograph
Today, Farouk’s legacy is more than tainted. The moment that Farouk abdicated, people began to pore through his personal belongings. What they found shocked them. Although the kleptomaniac had masses of jewels, bottles, razor blades, and other trinkets in his hoard of goodies, he also had one (1) signed photograph of his old pal Adolf Hitler. Oh, but it got worse.
80. He Had A Secret Stash
The most scandalous discovery amid all of Farouk’s possessions made news all around the world. The carousing King had a very, very, very extensive collection of adult “paraphernalia.” Like, it was one of the largest collections in the world. We’re talking photos, calendars, watches, glasses—if you could put a picture of a woman’s body on it, he had it. Why am I not surprised?