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Egypt 1934 UPU set

The Kingdom of Egypt was created by a treaty with Great Britain, concluded in 1922 and providing for Egypt's independence. It made the then ruler, Sultan Ahmed Fouad, into the first King of Egypt, under the name Fouad I.

After a fortune-teller had told him that 'F' was his lucky letter, Fouad named his subsequent children Fawkia, Farouk, Fawzia, Faiza, Faika and Fathia.

Farouk was born on February 11, 1920, and grew up as a lonely sheltered boy, who was an introvert with a love for 'Treasures', including stamps. In 1935, Farouk attended the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, where he was known as 'Prince Freddy'. In 1936 however, 16-year-old Farouk was back in Egypt, because his father had died. Farouk assumed the title of King, although assisted by a regency council, until he officially became King of Egypt in July 1937.

Egypt was the first non-colonial African country to issue and later print its own stamps, and was one of the pioneers in the use of Airmail. Both Farouk and his father Fouad were avid collectors, and between them amassed one of the most valuable and finest stamp collections in the world. Many of their acquisitions were made by bartering specially produced "Palace" errors and varieties of current Egyptian issues, through the European and US stamp trades. They often took extended time to pay for their purchases.

Although he was immensely rich, Farouk was a kleptomaniac. He stole everything that took his fancy, especially from visiting foreign dignitaries. It was rumoured that at official receptions and parties, Farouk pick-pocketed watches, wallets and cigarette lighters. When in 1944, the Shah of Persia had died and his coffin had landed in Cairo, Farouk stole the ceremonial sword, belt and medals from the corpse, which were later returned after Farouk's deposition. Farouk had many other infamous personal traits, although in the public eye he was recognised more as a playboy prince, rather than the debauched ex-King.

After Farouk was deposed and the proclamation of the republic, all the Royal collections (including stamps, coins antiques etc), were confiscated, catalogued and publicly auctioned. The stamps were sold as the 'Palace' Collection, by H.R. Harmer in 1954.



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