National Geographic : 1968 Mar
The Shah gave her his hand and helped her rise. She stepped back and seated herself in her chair, while Princess Farahnaz tried vainly to catch her eye. The Prime Minister delivered the nation's homage and congratulations. The Speaker of the Majlis and the President of the Senate spoke briefly. Then Dr. Lotfali Suratgar of Teheran University chanted the coronation ode he had composed in the classical Persian poetic style used since the 10th century. "Yet Greater Cause for Pride" Seated, the Shah delivered his four-minute coronation address. "I beseech Almighty God," he concluded, "that we... will be able to pass on to our successors a country with yet greater cause for pride... an even higher level of progress, and a society even more contented and prosperous." The Shah's escort ranged itself in front of the throne. He descended, and they proceeded down the aisle. The audience bent their knees and bowed their heads as he passed. The Em press and the Crown Prince followed, and twice more knees flexed and heads bobbed in the Throne Room (page 309). Then the royal family departed, Princess Farahnaz holding tightly to the hand of her half sister, Princess Shahnaz, who was crying. I walked to a window and watched the procession make its measured way down hundreds of feet of red carpet to the waiting carriages (foldout, pages 310-12). If this was the twilight of monarchy, I mused, it had been a fantastic sunset. The first United States Minister to the Court of Iran-then called Persia-was S. G. W. Benjamin, an Oriental scholar. In 1886, he wrote a book about his experiences. Speaking of another Shah, he said: "For a sovereign to sit on the throne found ed by Shah Jemsheed in prehistoric ages, strengthened by Cyrus and Darius, and made glorious in turn by Anurshirwan and Shah Abbass ... is of itself a rare and notable event. It is not less remarkable if it can be said of such a monarch that he is not unworthy of his great predecessors." Nor is it less remarkable today. THE END Fountains of fire splash a midnight-black sky during a dazzling fireworks display for the Shah at the Royal Teheran Hilton on the city's outskirts. Later he opened an indus trial fair, foreground, where some 150 Iran ian firms showed off products ranging from light bulbs to trucks. 320 EKTACHROMEBYJAMESL. STANFIELD N.G.S.