Learn more about Farah Pahlavi
Though the titles and distinctions of the Iranian imperial family were legally abolished by the new regime, she often is styled Empress or Shahbanou, out of courtesy, by the media as well as by supporters of the former monarchy. She does use the title Empress Farah Pahlavi, a combination of title and surname that has no dynastic precedent, though her children do not use their former titles in any official manner.<ref>See her website, noted below.</ref>
She was born in Tehran as Farah Diba, the only child of Sohrab Diba and his wife, Farideh Ghotbi. Her father, who died when she was a child, was an officer in the Imperial Iranian Army whose family was originally from Iranian Azarbaijan.
 Education and marriage
She studied at the French school in Tehran and École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris, where she was a student of Albert Besson. While a student, she was introduced to the recently divorced Shah by his son-in-law, Ardeshir Zahedi. The two were wed on December 21 1959 and had four children.
- Reza Cyrus Pahlavi (born October 30 1960)
- Farahnaz Pahlavi (born March 12 1963)
- Ali Reza Pahlavi (born April 28 1966)
- Leila Pahlavi (March 27, 1970 - June 10 2001)
 The Iranian revolution and exile
After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Empress Farah escorted her husband into exile and remained with him until his death on July 27 1980. She currently lives in Connecticut, in the United States and Paris, France.
In 2003, Farah Pahlavi wrote a book about her marriage to the Shah entitled An Enduring Love: My Life with the Shah - A Memoir. It was published in the United States in 2004 by Miramax Books.
The publication of the former empress's memoirs resulted in international interest. It was a bestseller in Europe, with excerpts appearing in news magazines and the author appearing on talk shows and in other media outlets. However, opinion about the book, which Publishers Weekly called "a candid, straightforward account" and the Washington Post called "engrossing", was mixed.
In the New York Times, Elaine Sciolino, the paper's Paris bureau chief, described the book as "well translated" but "so full of anger and bitterness that her memoir distorts more than it enlightens." She also questioned the author's accuracy regarding historical events, noting that the former empress declined to explain "the fact that it took a coup orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency to restore the shah to the throne in 1953 ...." In the end, Sciolini described the book as promotional device, "an emotional appeal to restore the crown to her [son] Reza, who is leading an opposition movement against the Islamic Republic from his residence and his office, outside Washington, and a Web site."<ref>Elaine Sciolino, The Last Empress, The New York Times, 2 May 2004.</ref>
In The National Review, however, Iranian writer Reza Bayegan praised An Enduring Love, stating that the former empress' "memoirs abound with affection and sympathy for her countrymen. Even a prime minister like Mohammad Mossadeq, who nearly caused the shah's overthrow in 1953, is treated with fairness and praised for his courage and firmness."<ref>Reza Bayegan, "The Shah & She", The National Review, 13 May 2004.</ref>
- Miss Farah Diba (1938-1959)
- H.I.M. Malekeh (Queen) Farah of Iran (1959-1967)
- H.I.M. Shahbanu (Empress) Farah of Iran (1967-1979)
- Empress Farah Pahlavi (1979-), the title she has chosen for herself but which does not conform to dynastic usage
 See also
 External links
- Farah Pahlavi's official website
- Farah Pahlavi, Iran's Ex-Empress, Receives the Anne Morrow Lindbergh Grace and Distinction Award 2005ar:فرح ديبا