'Last King of Egypt' cancels Suez Canal visit

'Last King of Egypt' cancels Suez Canal visit
The heir of the former Egyptian monarch has cancelled his visit to the opening of the new Suez Canal - because he didn't get an invite.
3 min read
04 Aug, 2015
Ahmed Fuad II, often referred to as the last King of Egypt, has cancelled his plans to attend the opening of the new Suez Canal in Egypt, due to the absence of an official invitation by the state, according to a statement posted on the official Facebook page for King Farouk of Egypt.

On Saturday, Magued Farag, the spokesperson for Egypt's former royal family, told private Egyptian channel ON TV that King Fuad had made travel arrangements to visit Egypt, insisting on covering his own expenses, after receiving a verbal invitation to attend the opening of the new Suez Canal from the company organising the event, which is scheduled to be held on 6 August.

However, on Monday, Farag told the al-Qahera al-Youm TV channel that King Fuad had to cancel his planned visit after the Egyptian embassy in Switzerland – where he is currently residing with his family – denied the issuance of any official invitations for him to attend the long-awaited event in Egypt.

Ahmed Fuad II was born to King Farouk of Egypt only a few months before the latter was overthrown by a group of military officers in what came to be known as the July revolution of 1952. King Farouk was forced to abdicate in favour of his infant son Ahmed Fuad, who succeeded him as Fuad II of Egypt.

After being deposed, Fuad was brought to Switzerland, where he was raised. He later migrated to Paris where he married and had three children before returning to Switzerland after his divorce.

Ironically, the royal yacht used by King Farouk to leave Egypt after his overthrow in 1952 will be used by current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during the opening ceremony of the new Suez Canal due to its historic significance, as it was the first vessel to ever pass through the original Suez Canal in 1869.

The historic royal yacht was seized by the military regime that took over the country in 1952, and since then it has been used by every Egyptian President for significant events.

Reports of King Fuad's return to Egypt and his attendance of the opening of the new Suez Canal have sparked debate on social media. Some people support the Egyptian monarchy and call for its return, while others criticised the attention and recognition given to the former royal family.

"King Ahmed Fuad will attend the opening of the new Suez Canal and watch the guests use his father's yacht. Just like that? How tolerant!" someone tweeted before learning that King Fuad cancelled his visit.

Others have also criticised the King's visit on local media. In an interview on Sunday by private TV channel Ten, Egyptian writer Abdel Halim Qandil commented on the significance of such a visit, saying that the debts of the former Egyptian royal family had left the Suez Canal under foreign control for decades.