Her grandfather was installed by the CIA and removed from power in a revolution.
Two of her father’s siblings killed themselves.
Now Princess Noor Pahlavi of Persia, the 24-year-old granddaughter of The Shah, is living a fabulous life…and has become a point of light for people longing for better days in Iran.
On her entertainingly decadent, but still somewhat restrained Instagram feed, there are photos from Aspen’s famous mountain party spot, “Cloud Nine.” A lot of cute girls with rose and Veuve.
The Georgetown graduate also shares a shot taken at the excellent Claridge’s Hotel in London; there for what the British Tabloids labeled the “Big Fat Greek Society Wedding.” Which means some rich Greeks who managed to get a ton of European and Middle Eastern-who-gives-a-shit-Royal
The Michelin restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower was a nice stop. The princess wore a glamorous dress, but not trashy. There was also the Swiss resort of Gstaad, sometimes known as a snowy place for shady people, where, Miss Pahlavi added, “…lose your voice and your Persian family is more than down to fill the silence.” A long way from the Brooklyn Bowl, Montauk, and South Beach which also make an appearance. This girl is kind of cool, and “normal” too.
The princess wants to make her own way. She’s certainly not ashamed of who she is, or the privilege it confers.
Quite recently, Miss Pahlavi posted a photo of herself in evening wear along with Chelsea Clinton and husband, failed investor Marc Mezvinsky. The photo is captioned in English, “kicking off the new year festivities” with “Rite of Spring at The Metropolitan Museum” added as a further description in Farsi. The Persian New year celebration, Norouz, is March 21st. The finery inspired numerous comments from people who apparently still see Princess Noor and her family as a symbol for change in Iran.
For someone calling themselves “iran_army96,” the black-tie event at New York’s most prestigious museum was a chance to declare, “the People’s Liberation Movement led by Sardar Mousavi… is ready to cooperate with Iran’s ability to break free from the grip of the mullahs’ dirty regime.” The commenter was referring to the reform-minded politician whose defeat in 2009 led to huge demonstrations in the streets of Tehran. The mostly young people of the “Green Movement” believed the election had been stolen. The world watched while the men who rule Iran made made sure the Greens never came close to pulling off what their parents did in 1979.
On her LinkedIn profile, Princess Noor says she manages Investor Relations for Cohen Equities, owned by Meir Cohen, part of the wave of Israelis who came to New York in the 1980s and made it big in real estate. One of the original complaints from the Iranian revolutionaries against the Shah was, of course, that he was too kind to Israel and the Jews. Now the Shah’s descendant is working for an Israeli real estate macher. Too good. You can just imagine the dismissive snickering from certain quarters in Tehran.
Even after though Noor’s relatives died in such a sad way, many young people in Iran still said they felt no empathy for the Pahlavis. They were pissed off at the decadence and cruelty of the Shah’s regime before the fall. And yet, it’s hard to paint Iranians with one brush. These days the sentiment among the Princess’ online followers is distinctly different. For the skeptical, a good number of the fans seem to actually live in Iran, not New York or “Tehran-geles” aka Beverly Hills, where election ballots are also printed in Farsi to accommodate the huge Persian community.
Noor has a verified Facebook page, “The Official Site of Noor Pahlavi.” 50,000 followers. This week she marked the birthday of her great-grandfather, the first guy to declare himself Shah and really crank up Iran’s oil business. “Today we remember the birth of Reza Shah I, the great modernizer of Iran – and our great-grandfather. May he forever Rest In Peace.” #FreeIran#RegimeChange
Maybe they’re deluded, but the Pahlavis don’t seem quite willing to give up on Iran, or the chance, perhaps, to someday go back. Noor’s dad, Reza, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the Trump Administration should engage directly with the opposition in Iran.
A fairly common reaction on the Princess’ Facebook page: “Go on our King, stand for the right of real Iranian people, we admire you and wish you a great luck and success in your path to free Iran.”