Copyright©Ambassador Feisal al-Istrabadi

Al-Hashimi Dynasty


The Kingdom of Iraq was founded by Sharif Faisal ibn Hussein, fourth son of Husain ibn 'Ali, King of the Hijaz and Grand Sharif of Mecca, the founder of Arab independence. Proclaimed as King of Syria at Damascus by the Arab Grand Committee in March 1920, the French forced his expulsion from after taking control in July. Though his old allies, the British, refused to assist him in Syria and supported France instead, they did not entirely forget their obligations. Within a year, he received nomination as their preferred candidate for the throne of Mesopotamia, a Nations Mandated Territory out of which they intended to create an independent Arab kingdom. Sharif Faisal secured 96% of the votes cast and was proclaimed King of Iraq on 23rd August 1921. A British protectorate continued for a further six years, until independence on 14th December 1927.
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King Faisal did not enjoy his new Kingdom very long and died in Switzerland in 1933. His young and inexperienced and twenty-one year old only son, Ghazi. Unstable but highly popular in Arab nationalist circles, he died in a tragic motor accident six years later. He left an only son and successor, the three year old Faisal II. The new King began his reign under the regency of his maternal uncle, the twenty-six year old Prince Abd al-Ilah.
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Copyright© Christopher Buyers
The Regent, partly out of inexperience and partly out of natural sympathy, leaned heavily on British advisers. His Prime Minister for much of this time was Nuri es-Said, the Anglophile former veteran of the Arab revolt. Within a short period, nationalist elements abhorred both figures. When war broke out in 1939, they looked increasingly to Germany for salvation. Seizing their chance, they staged a military coup d'etat and forced the Regent and government to flee the country on 10th April 1941. They returned on the 24th of May and re-established control with British military help, which only served to stoke the fires of nationalist resentment still further. The leaders of the coup were brutally murdered in the streets by angry mobs, while the army stood by quietly.
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Copyright© Christopher Buyers
A new constitution nominated Prince
Abd al-Ilah as Heir Apparent and Crown Prince in 1943. Thereafter, Iraq seemed to progress steadily and peacefully, helped by the demands of a War economy, its strategic position in the Middle-East, and the ever-growing receipts from oil. King Faisal II reached maturity and assumed full-ruling powers on 2nd May 1953. However, Britain had ceased to be the power it once was and left leaning. Arab nationalists had seized power in several surrounding states, most notably under Nasser in Egypt. The latter, an inveterate enemy of Britain and her friends began daily virulent anti-British and anti-Hashimite propaganda broadcasts aimed at toppling the governments of Iraq and Jordan. Military coup d'etat's were in fashion everywhere and military officers keen to exercise supreme power and sample the 'fruits of high office'.
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On 14th July 1958, a single division of the Iraqi Army led by General Qasim, ostencibly moving through Baghdad to a new location, suddenly attacked the palace and overthrew the government. Armed mobs financed by Egyptian sources emerged, and excited the crowds and instigated bloody vengeance on anyone connected with the Royal Family or government. Before any loyal elements of the army, the British or the Jordanians could intervene, everything was over. The young King, the Crown Prince and their female relatives and aides were gunned down in cold blood outside the palace, under the pretence of a truce. The bodies of several prominent figures being dragged through the streets, and mutilated in a fashion so barbaric, as to be entirely out of place in a city replete with reminders of Arab civilisation. With a beginning as inauspicious as this, the military regime that replaced the monarchy did not survive better. The unhappy country has endured successive military dictatorships ever since, each vying with its predecessor in ghastliness and horror.
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After the deaths of King Faisal II and Crown Prince
Abd al-Ilah, the leadership of the Royal House devolved on Prince Zaid, youngest brother of King Faisal I, sometime Deputy and Acting Regent of the Kingdom. As Ambassador in London, he escaped the bloodbath in Baghdad. A veteran of the Arab revolt, cultured and urbane, he led a relatively quiet life in London and died in exile in France in 1970. Since then, the claim to the Iraqi throne, in accordance with the 1943 Constitution, rests with his only son, Prince Ra'ad, long resident in Jordan as aide and close confidant of King's Hussein and 'Abdu'llah. Copyright© Christopher Buyers
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
The Sovereign: King of Iraq, with the style of His Majesty.
The wife of the sovereign: Queen of Iraq, with the style of Her Majesty.
The Heir Apparent: Crown Prince, with the style of His Royal Highness.
The sons of the Sovereign: Amir (Prince), with the style of His Royal Highness.
The daughters of the Sovereign: Amira (Princess), with the style of Her Royal Highness.
Other members of the Royal Family: Amir (Prince) or Amira (Princess) with the style of His or Her Highness.
Wives of Amirs, and and widows until they remarry: Amira (Princess) together with the style borne by their husbands.
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Copyright© Christopher Buyers
RULES OF SUCCESSION: Copyright© Christopher Buyers
The Iraqi Constitution (as amended in November 1943) stipulates that the Crown is only heritable by lawfully begotten males of Iraqi nationality, according to primogeniture, and from the family of King Faisal I of Iraq by his Queen. Failing male heirs of King Faisal, the next in succession being his brothers, the sons of King Hussein ibn 'Ali of the Hijaz, and their male issue, according to primogeniture, provided they were also Iraqi nationals. Copyright© Christopher Buyers
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
Please see link below.
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
GLOSSARY: Copyright© Christopher Buyers
(or Emir): Prince.
Amira (or Emira): Princess.
Bey (or Beg): title of Turkish origin, junior to Pasha.
Malika: Queen.
Nishan: Turkish order of chivalry or decoration of honour.
: title of Turkish origin, senior to Bey.
Sayyid: hereditary title meaning Lord. A title held by male descendants of Hussein, younger twin son of Ali, the fourth Caliph by his wife Fatima, daughter of the Prophet; also used without the definitive article as an equivalent to Mr.
Sayyida: hereditary title for a lady descended from Hussein in the male line.
Shaikh (or Sheikh): hereditary title of an Arab tribal chieftain.
Shaikha (or Sheikha): feminine of Shaikh.
: hereditary title meaning Noble. A title held by male members of the Hashimite dynasty, descended in the male line from Hassan, elder twin son of Ali, the fourth Caliph by his wife Fatima, daughter of the Prophet.
Sharifa: hereditary title for a lady of the Hashimite dynasty, descended from Hassan in the male line.
Wali al-Ahd: Heir Apparent or Heir Presumptive, usually translated as Crown Prince
Wisam: order of chivalry or decoration of honour.

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Almanach de Gotha: annuaire généalogique, diplomatique et statistique, Justes Perthes, Gotha, 1924-1944.
Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume II: Africa & The Middle East. Burke's Publications Ltd., London, 1980.
Shirin Devrim, A Turkish Tapestry; The Shakirs of Istanbul. Quartet Books, London, 1994.
Leading Personalities in Iraq. Foreign Office Confidential Print (No. 237), Baghdad, 12th December 1949.
Yilmaz Oztuna, Devletler ve Hanedanlar. Volume II: Hashimiler. Kultur Bakanligi Yayinlari: 1101, Ankara, 1989.
Owain Raw Rees. "The Orders, Decorations and Medals of the Kingdom of Iraq", JOMSA Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America, Volume 57, Number 1, January-February 2006.
Megen C. Robertson. Medals of the World. Internet, 2003.
A. de L. Rush (ed.), Ruling Families of Arabia. Volume 8: Family Trees. Archive Editions, Archive International Group, Melksham, Oxon. 1991.
Alan de Lacy Rush (ed.). Records of the Hashimite Dynasties, A Twentieth Century Documentary History. Archive Editions, Chppenham, Oxon., 1995.
Who's Who in the Arab World, Publitec Publications, London, 1967-1999.

Ambassador Feisal al-Istrabadi.
Lorenzo Luna.
The Royal Jordanian Court, Amman.
The Royal Jordanian Embassy, London.
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
I would be grateful to hear from anyone who may have changes, corrections or additions to contribute. If you do, please be kind enough to send me an e-mail using the contact details at: Copyright© Christopher Buyers

Copyright©Christopher Buyers, August 2000 - June 2023