Labor of love

What impressed me most was Shahbanou's simplicity and kindness that so characterizes her personality


Labor of love
by Darius Kadivar

 Earlier this month I got an email from Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi's webmaster & secretary inviting me to assist to an annual Paris ceremony in remembrance of her late daughter Princess Leila (March 27, 1970 - June 10, 2001) which was followed by a more relaxed reunion in a Hotel lounge and drawing room for all who were kind enough to attend the gathering at the Passy Cemetery nearby the Trocadero. The invitation was really an unexpected one for me even if I knew that she did read them since I saw some of them (in relation to our Royal History) linked to her official website.

It was the very first time I personally assisted this simple ceremony in memory of the late princess. Although I am not nostalgic or particularly fond of reminiscing on sad events, I was nevertheless truly honored to be able not only pay my respects to the lovely and lonely princess Leila whose tomb was flowered by family, friends and loyal fans of the Royal family but also to have the pleasure of meeting Her Majesty in person for the very First Time all the more that  I learned that she appreciated my articles on culture and films in general and that she wished to meet me given that I live in Paris. 

What impressed me most was her simplicity and kindness that so characterizes her personality. She had a thought and kind look for Every person who wanted to meet her during and after the ceremony. I can tell you now that being a Queen even a former Queen is a FULL TIME JOB, she hardly took the time to rest or drink a glass of water and it well lasted at least 2 to 3 hours after the ceremony.

Our meeting was brief but warm and I took the oppurtunity to offer her an old Italian magazine from 1959 with a beautiful lithographic painting of her and her late husband the Shah which was published for her wedding. I also showed her two photos of myself and my siblings Cyrus and Sylvie-Roya with my late Father Dr. Kioumarz-Ruhollah KADIVAR when we lived in Shiraz. The photo was taken in October 1971 which corresponded to my Sister and brother's birthday month and on that particular day ( or week) we were dressed as our Persian Ancestors. My Sister looked like she was about to fall asleep while my brother and I were fooling around.  ;0)

The Shahbanou was very pleased and we laughed and exchanged some kind words after which she had to greet some other guests.

I Hope I will have the oppurtunity to meet her again in less formal circumstances for an interview in the future.

In anycase I wanted to also dedicate the following song from the Musical Camelot to that special reunion and to Her in particular. I sure did feel for a Brief and Shining Moment that I was Sir Lancelot.



CAMELOTLyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Ken Darby, Frederick Loewe

 (Camelot) It's true! It's true! The crown has made it clear.
The climate must be perfect all the year.

A law was made a distant moon ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
In Camelot.
The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September
In Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!
I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
But in Camelot, Camelot
That's how conditions are.
The rain may never fall till after sundown.
By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.

Camelot! Camelot!
I know it gives a person pause,
But in Camelot, Camelot
Those are the legal laws.
The snow may never slush upon the hillside.
By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.

 Camelot (Final Reprise)… Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot,
Think back on all the tales that you remember
Of Camelot.
Ask ev'ry person if he's heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
Called Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!
Now say it out with pride and joy!

Camelot! Camelot!

Yes, Camelot, my boy!
Where once it never rained till after sundown,
By eight a.m. the morning fog had flown...
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

 Watch Trailer 

And Sir Lancelot ( Franco Nero) sings C’est Moi


more from Darius Kadivar

Meeting Shahbanoo

by Perskat (not verified) on

I am dismayed by some of the comments here.
I am a STAUNCH anti-monarchist, DO believe that the late Shah and his cowardice and megalomania are partly to blame for so many of our ills, but I HAVE tasted the milk of human kindness.
As a mother, ALL I see, is a woman who has lost her child... perhaps the fact that she has neglected her teeth, despite all her money, is a testament to the enormity of her grief.
Everyone bleeds when you stab them. Shame on "An Iranian Woman", who cannot see past her cynicism to be kind... Shame on you Madam, to think that it is okay to ridicule someone's appearance, just because you think you have the higher moral ground. And double shame on you for thinking that any of it matters when she would probably give all of those stained and ill-maintained teeth, and more, to have her child back.
Tsk, tsk.
Another Iranian woman


How wonderful that the

by An Iranian woman (not verified) on

How wonderful that the Pahlavis have sunk to yet another low in their desperate efforts to “reach” Iranians (however sad I am, as a mother, for Farah's loss of her youngest daughter). Still, my empathy as a mother won't stop me from saying it as it is: now the Pahlavis need the help of the likes of the ridiculous Darius Kadivar to help them get exposure, and in outlets such as…Zekki!

All of who are semi-sane know of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Pahlavis but the fact that Farah e-mails DK to help her (LOL) and appreciates his writings on “Iranian Culture” just made my day. How pathetic, how embarrassing…but utterly funny, you must admit!!!

An Iranian woman…

PS. And I cannot agree more with the comment made by the cynical dentist: surely Farah can afford cosmetic dentistry given the billions she and her family stole from our country… and for God sake, couldn’t DK have checked the spelling and grammar on his latest gibberish before posting it? But I am sure not even that would stop Farah and her webmaster from linking to it…LOL!!!


An honorable lady

by simin khanum (not verified) on

I would like to take this chance to inform the dear Shahbanoo that I also have the honor of living in the same city where Shahbanoo resides in the U.S.A. I would love to meet this great lady and I will one day! she is a lady of grace and honor. she has been living with her family since M.R. Shah Pahlavi died and nobody has heard any disrespectful word or gossip about her. I love to help her beautiful grand childern with teaching them more Farsi and also teach them from my interesting Farsi-English book of Proverbs.which is a great tool of teaching language and culture through common proverbs and illustrated proverb puzzles. This is not a children's book only, it has designed for anybody who can read Farsi or English or both. I am a substitute teacher and also a great hair stylist. Seeing some photos of Shahbanoo in the past few months, I would like to suggest some hanges in the queen's hair style.


Cosmetic dentistry and uprising

by A cynical dentist (not verified) on

Her Majesty could do with some cosmetic dentistry!!
And to Aryamehr11:
Put the money where your mouth is, shoma avall bepakheez!!!



by aryamehr11 on

SepAs Darius-jAn.

Javid Shahbanou!


Bedaaneem, Beandeesheem, Bepaakheezeem!
Beedari, Paaydari, Peeroozi!