Princess Fatemah Khanum: A Royalty Both Forgotten and Misunderstood by History

Princess Fatemah Khanum, popularly known as Princess Qajar, is considered to be a symbol of Persian beauty even today. However, there are many facts about this royalty that are unknown to people. But if you have a look at her pictures on the internet, you are sure to say this, “Hey, I have seen her!” Well, why not. Her pictures have been doing rounds on the internet for the past few years.

However, it’s a matter of utter shame that a few people have gone to the level of mocking the Princess owing to her physical appearance which is totally different from other royal princesses. Now, let us try to know some important facts about Princess Qajar and clear a few misunderstandings related to her:

Princess Qajar’s real name is Fatemah Khanum ‘Esmat – El – Dowlah’ and she is the second daughter of Nasar Al-Din Shah Qajar who was the King of Persia.

She was born in Persia in the year 1886 and died on January 25, 1936. However, there are various conflicts among the intellectuals who have different predictions related to her birth and death.

Most of her pictures were taken by her husband himself. This is contradictory to a fact which says otherwise. So, one thing here is pretty clear that the lady in the pictures is definitely Princess Qajar.

Princess Qajar
Image credit: Pinterest

Princess Qajar belongs to that period of Persian history where possessing a mustache or having a unibrow was considered to be a symbol of great beauty. This is the reason why she was considered to be a phenomenal Persian beauty of the 19th century despite having what is considered a stereotypically manly appearance. 

There is an unfortunate sensational claim related to Princess Qajar. It has been claimed that thirteen men killed themselves for their unconditional love towards the princess. However, there is no source in history that proves such claims.

Princess Qajar was, in fact, the most photographed woman of her time. Well, her numerous pictures available in the archives and of course, the internet is proof of that. She was indeed a symbol of Persian beauty and her photographs are subject of interest among intellectuals even now.

The princess was a painter, writer, activist and intellectual lady. She is known to have hosted numerous literary salons at her own residence.

Princess Qajar was the first-ever Persian woman who took off her hijab and walked down the court. She was also the first woman to wear western clothes.

The princess was also a feminist and was a pioneer of woman’s rights in Iran. She was a member of an underground woman’s rights group in Iran named Anjoman Horriyyat Nsevan, meaning Woman’s Freedom Association. This association was working for the rights of Iranian women in Persia back in 1910.

Princess Qajar life
Image credit: Pinterest

Princess Qajar’s husband was Amir Hussein Khan Shoja– Al Saltaneh. They had four children– two sons and two daughters. However, the two of them divorced each other later on.

Princess Qajar happened to be the love interest of a well-known poet named Aref Qazvini. He wrote a poem titled Ey Taj in the name of the princess.

After her death, Esmat-El-Dowlah was buried in a cemetery in the Tajrish-Zahir-od-Dowleh cemetery.

Princess Qajar was a very outspoken person and her smartness was praised by everyone during that time. This was the reason why the royal lady became so popular.

She also wrote a memoir related to the infamous Qajar Dynasty. The memoir’s name was “Crowning Anguish: Memoirs of a Persian Princess from the Harem to Modernity.” It also consists of all the conflicts related to modernity and harem which is a subject of interest in numerous Middle Eastern universities.

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