Monday, November 26, 2012

Iraqis Reconsider Royalty

The storming of the Bastille in 1789, and the repulsive French holiday celebrating it (spare me the technicality that the holiday officially commemorates the ephemeral Fête de la Fédération a year later), is not the only historical event that makes July 14 an ironic birthday for a monarchist.  On that date in 1958, exactly twenty years before I was born, a clique of Iraqi army officers massacred their young King Faisal II and his family, paving the way for the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and all the chaos and misery that followed.  Disgracefully this date has been a holiday in Iraq for years, but recently Iraqis have been prompted by an unprecedented exhibition in Baghdad on the monarchy to re-examine their royal history, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor and the Alaska Dispatch.  Unsurprisingly for monarchists, the Kingdom of Iraq (1932-1958) now seems like a golden age in retrospect.  When will the world ever learn?

King Faisal II of Iraq (1935-1958)


Unknown said...

I looked into that only today, and unfortunately he did not have any offspring. However, all three kings were of the same clan and only the first and third kings were paternally related (The two Faisal's were father and son). So it is possible that a new one could be selected from the same clan. Of course they would need to revolt against not only their new, horrendously oppressive, president as well as current convention.

Theodore Harvey said...

I believe a Prince Ra'ad (b 1936) is generally considered the current head of the family. Awhile ago there was an "Iraqi Constitutional Monarchy Movement" headed by a Sharif Ali whose claim to the throne was relatively dubious, but it seems to be defunct.