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Leila Pahlavi

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Leila Pahlavi
Princess Leila Pahlavi (2001).jpg
Princess Leila in 2001
Born(1970-03-27)27 March 1970
Tehran, Iran
Died10 June 2001(2001-06-10) (aged 31)
London, United Kingdom
Full name
English: Leila
Persian: لیلا
FatherMohammad Reza Pahlavi
MotherFarah Diba

Leila Pahlavi (Persian: لیلا پهلوی‎, 27 March 1970 – 10 June 2001) was a princess of Iran and the youngest daughter of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, and his third wife, Farah Pahlavi.

Early life

Leila Pahlavi was born on 27 March 1970 in Tehran, Iran. She was the fourth and youngest child of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the Empress Farah Pahlavi.

Styles of
Princess Leila of Iran
Imperial Coat of Arms of Iran.svg
Reference styleHer Imperial Highness
Spoken styleYour Imperial Highness

In exile

She was nine years old when her family was forced into exile as a result of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Following her father's death in Egypt from non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1980, the family settled in the United States.

She graduated from Rye Country Day School in 1988, and went on to attend a state school in Massachusetts before going on to study at Brown University, graduating in 1992.

She spent most of her time commuting between her home in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Paris, where her mother was living. A onetime model for the designer Valentino, she suffered from anorexia nervosa, chronic low self-esteem, severe depression[1] and chronic fatigue syndrome.[2]


Grave of Leila Pahlavi in Passy Cemetery, Paris, France

On Sunday 10 June 2001, Leila was found dead in her room in the Leonard Hotel in London just before 19:30 BST by her doctor.[3] She was found to have more than five times the lethal dose of Seconal, a barbiturate, which is used to treat insomnia, in her system, along with a nonlethal amount of cocaine.[4] She was found in bed, her body emaciated by years of anorexia, bulimia,[5] and food intolerances.[6] According to a report on her death, which included information from an autopsy conducted by the Westminster Coroner's Court, she stole the Seconal from her doctor's desk during an appointment and was addicted to the drug, typically taking 40 pills at once, rather than the prescribed two.[5]

On 17 June 2001, she was buried near her maternal grandmother, Farideh Ghotbi Diba, in the Cimetière de Passy, Paris, France. At the funeral was her mother, Empress Farah, the imperial family of Iran, as well as members of the former French royal family and Frederic Mitterrand, the nephew of the late French President François Mitterrand.[7]

On 4 January 2011, her brother Ali-Reza Pahlavi was found dead at his home in Boston, Massachusetts from an apparent suicide.[8]



  1. ^ Sabety, Setareh (2001-06-19). "Diana not: Serious soul-searching about our collective identity crisis". Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  2. ^ Obituaries, Leila Pahlavi, Deposed Shah's Daughter, June 12, 2001. LA Times;
  3. ^ "Shah's daughter found dead". BBC News. 2001-06-12. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  4. ^ Tweedie, Neil (July 26, 2001). "Shah's daughter stole to fuel her drug habit". The Times (London). Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Tweedie, Neil (2001-07-26). "Shah's daughter stole to fuel her drug habit". Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  6. ^ Hewitt, Bill (2011-07-16). "Burden of Grief". Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  7. ^ "Shah's daughter laid to rest". BBC News. 2001-06-17. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  8. ^ "Son of former shah of Iran commits suicide". CNN. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2016-09-04.

External links