Princess Soraya Celebrates Her Birthday At Ledoyen
Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiary (22 June 1932 – 26 October 2001) was the queen consort as the second wife of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whom she married in 1951. Their marriage suffered many pressures, particularly when it became clear that she was infertile. She rejected the Shah’s suggestion that he might take a second wife in order to produce an heir, as he rejected her suggestion that he might abdicate in favor of his half-brother. As the daughter of a German Christian mother, Soraya was mistrusted by Shiite clerics; she was also resented by the Shah’s possessive mother. In March 1958, the Shah wept as he announced their divorce. The British Ambassador claimed that Soraya was the Shah’s only true love. After a brief career as an actress, and a liaison with Italian film director Franco Indovina, Soraya lived alone in Paris until her death.