King empire

the King of Bling edition

King Farouk (1920-1965)

A look at a strange 20th century monarch, after the jump….

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Although I know him for a famous quote from his decades (and not much more), it wasn’t until the recent Jubilee celebration that I saw a blurb about him…and found a character that would be difficult to imagine today. . There “king of blinghad the kind of consternation the Marcos surely had when they fled Manila in 1986… because of the bling they left behind. Still King Farouk of Egypt led a much more interesting life, I think… well worth a look.


Born in 1920 as Farouk bin Fuad, Hereditary Prince of Egypt and Sudan, when Egypt was still a British protectorate: he was the son of King Fouad, the first Egyptian king (of Albanian ancestry) and a mother of mixed Egyptian and Mediterranean ancestry. At fifteen, he was sent to a British military academy (with an entourage of twenty) where he was known less for his academics than for duck hunting and shopping in London. There he met the future King Edward VIII – of which Farouk said (many years later):

We haven’t met yet as two abdicated monarchs but when we do: I’m sure he’ll have a typically piquant comment

He did not graduate: as in April 1936, his father died, and he became king at sixteen. For several years he (and his father before that) enjoyed widespread support: he lifted Egypt from its previous status as an Ottoman Empire, which led to an expansion of artistic and cultural achievement. Indeed, also considering the religious freedom that existed then: some in the country today look at his reign (despite its flaws) with a certain nostalgia in relation to modern rulers.

Farouk also did what his father did not, learn Arabic: as well as other languages (English, French and Italian), the only subject in which he excelled. He was also negotiating a treaty to reduce Britain’s privilege (a sore point for his compatriots) in exchange for keeping him in the British sphere of influence.

Throughout, however, there were omens of things to come: and his ascension to the throne at just sixteen played a part. Other members of the government were resentful, looking for ways to plot for the future. The British distrusted him, due to his outward antagonism (and his Italian bent, the influence of his father’s upbringing, even after the rise of Mussolini). Indeed, after his marriage in 1938: he received a Mercedes-Benz of Adolf Hitler (who, among other things, played a role in the neutrality of Egypt during the Second World War).

Much of his decline (beyond a lack of experience) can be attributed to old vices of greed and corruption. He inherited 1/7e of all arable land in Egypt (as well as five palaces, 200 cars and 2 yachts). Yet he seemed to be of the “Too much is not enough” persuasion: first, he was a normal weight in his youth, but he reached 300 pounds. (he was reported to eat 600 oysters/week). Even his mustache gave him the aura of a cartoon character. He bought red Rolls Royces and Bentleys, so the police would know… not to arrest him. He owned over 1,000 bespoke suits and a collection of pornographic ties. And when World War II broke out, he kept the lights on in his palace in Alexandria – despite a blackout in the rest of the city, to defend against Nazi bombardment.

After a (very) successful hunting party

It also encouraged a crony capitalism, which reached its peak during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war – when many believed that war profiteers had led to the Egyptian army being equipped with substandard weapons and ammunition.

This led the Egyptian military to start planning its ouster, with two names you might recognize: Gamal Abdel Nassar and Anwar Sadat. And that’s what they accomplished in July 1952 – King Farouk seeking help from the United States, without success. He was forced to abdicate in Italy, and a Egyptian Republic set up a few weeks later. He later tried to blame Muslim extremists, but fell for more traditional forces: and as noted, the republic fire-sold its bling palace (like Corazon Aquino’s government did). did after the Philippine Revolution).

He died in exile in Italy in 1965 at only forty-five years old, denounced like a playboy and incompetent. Still, as noted, there’s at least some nostalgia for its time.

He is best known for his quote that the day would come when there would be only five kings in the world: the king of England … the king of spades, the king of clubs, the king of hearts and the king of diamonds. Of course, this did not happen: in 1994, the magazine published in the United Kingdom The Economist posted this:


Yet even they have recently received a very favorable tribute to queen elizabeth at his Jubilee – there has also been no King of England (or more accurately) of Great Britain for seventy years. So maybe Farouk… wasn’t entirely off base.

Although long… Let’s end with a classic song by British band Renaissance, featuring former Yardbirds singer Keith Relf (on vocals), Jim McCarty (on drums) and Keith’s sister, Jane Relf, ​​on backing vocals.

Now on to the best reviews:

Of the sphynx:

In the diary of Darrell Lucus with the explicit headline the church in georgia may have stopped a mass shooting before it happened – At Captain Frogbert’s thoughtful juxtaposition of suicide bombings and terrorism around the world and gun deaths in the United States.

Of elvish:

In the front page story (also with an explicit title), disabled activists help Lizzo find a way to express her voice – this thread started with an eloquent comment by Franks Human (about the use of a hurtful ableist term) is a thoughtful and insightful dialogue about how words can hurt and also the recovery of some terms that have been used for the purpose of hurting. This kind of back-and-forth is the power of Daily Kos’ comments section.

And of Ed Traceyyour faithful correspondent this evening ……..

In the story from the front page on the death toll in Kansas cattle herds (due to high heat and humidity) – Dooey begins a thoughtful thread on mitigation efforts in the meantime to prevent soil erosion and also provide shade.

And in the front-page story of Montana Governor Greg Gianforte being out of the country as floods ravage the southwestern part of his state – his staff unwilling to provide details (leading to speculation ranging from the Appalachian Trail to Grand Slam wrestling) – Jeff1234 offers a basic roadmap of how staff should handle such a situation, rather than encouraging speculation.

Then enjoy Jotter’s wonderful (and now everlasting) *PictureQuilt™* below. Simply click on the image and it will magically take you to the comment containing that photo.


June 15, 2022

(REMARK: Any missing images in the quilt have been removed because (a) they came from an untrusted source that somehow slipped into the comments, or (b) it was an image from the DailyKos image library which didn’t have permissions set to allow others to use it.)

And finally: yesterday Top Mojomega-mojo intrepid Mike …… which saved this feature from oblivion: