ruled (1936 - 1952)
King Farouk succeeded his father, King Fuad,
after his death in 1936. Few weeks later, general elections took place
and Al-Wafd Party won with a
landslide majority; so Al-Nahhas Pasha,
head of Al-Wafd, formed the first government in King Farouk's tenure.
The same year an agreement was concluded between Egypt and Britain.
The agreement limited the presence of British troops to the Suez
Canal zone. It obliged Egypt to help Britain at the times of war.
Britain was required to help Egypt join the League of Nations and
work to end the Capitulations system that dates to the Ottoman
era. The law was exempting foreigners from being tried before
Egyptian courts and was even excluding them from paying taxes. The
agreement left unsettled the issue of Sudan. In 1937 Egypt joined
the League of Nations as an independent state and the Capitulations
On the other hand, a big dispute arose inside Al-Wafd party. This
ended up in a breakaway of two of its prominent figures, Ahmed Maher
Pasha and Nokrashi Pasha. They both formed the new Saadist Party in
The next year, World War II broke out and Britain began utilizing
all available sources to serve the war. As provided by agreements,
Egypt assisted Britain with the required materials despite its official
position of neutrality.
During the war, the king was appointing ineffective governments, which
brought nothing but instability in the country. But the British wanted
to see a more popular and effective government that could help the
British forces in the war. On 4 February 1942, British ambassador
Sir Miles Lampson surrounded Abdin palace -the royal residence- with
tanks and gave the king the choice of assigning Al-Nahhas Pasha to
form a new government or to resign. Farouk capitulated and asked Al-Nahhas
to be the next premier. This had a bad effect on Al-Wafd Party as
a national party, and its popularity began declining. In the same
time, Egypt saw an economic boom as a result of the immediate emigration
of Turks after the eruption of the war. Those left their properties
to Egyptians. Also the British occupation forces employed many Egyptians.
In 1944, Farouk dismissed Al-Nahhas Pasha and asked Ahmed Maher to
form the government and in early 1945, the parliament -encouraged
by Maher- voted to declare war on Germany and its allies. As a result
Ahmed Maher was assassinated by an Axis sympathizer.
Al-Nokrashi formed the government after Maher and under the sponsorship
of Egypt, the Arab League was founded in March.
In the aftermath of the war, Egypt saw a wave of civil disturbances
and a political instability. An attempt was made by Egypt to revise
the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian treaty.
In 1947, the British troops withdrew again to the Suez Canal zone.
The next year, Al-Nokrashi imposed martial laws and declared war on
Israel as a reaction on its establishment earlier. Egypt tragically
suffered a crushing defeat.
Al-Nokrashi's crackdown on fundamentalists ended up with his assassination
in December 1947.
The public feeling was not better; the
resentment over the war defeat increased and a secret political force
was formed. The group, which called itself the Free Officers, comprised
young officers graduated from the Military Academy. Those had a feeling
of antagonism towards the government, particularly because of the
defeat from Israel. They secretly planned for a coup d'état.
In 1950, elections were held and Al-Wafd party returned to power under
Al-Nahhas Pasha, the same year that Gamal
Abdel Nasser was elected head of Free Officers' Executive.
In 1951, and after the marathon negotiations with the British government
failed, Al-Nahhas Pasha unilaterally declared the abrogation of the
1936 Anglo-Egyptian treaty.
Meanwhile, the Free Officers intensified their
meetings and Mohamed Naguib was elected president of the Free Officers
Club. In early 1952 British forces attacked Ismailia police headquarters.
The next day on 26 January 1952, Cairo
was burnt as demonstrators targeted foreign companies.
King Farouk proved his weakness and inability to deal with the crisis.
The government resigned and a number of ineffective governments followed.
By that time, the Free Officers -masterminded by Gamal Abdel Nasser-
decided to hasten their plans for a coup and determined 26 July for
it, and on that date they took over key positions under the titular
army leadership of General Mohamed Naguib, declaring a coup d'état.
Farouk realized the British won't help him and so he abdicated in
favor of his infant son, Prince Ahmed Fuad II, on July 26th. The king
was allowed to safely leave Egypt.
With the representation of the Free Officers, a Regency Council was
formed for the infant king.
A year later, the monarchy was abolished and Egypt was declared a
young prince Farouk with his sisters
the last king of Egypt with his family