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In Loving Memory of Princess Tajudowllah - Beloved Mother of our Hazar Imam.

Princess Joan Aly Khan, mother of Prince Karim Aga Khan and Prince Amyn.
This drawing is her sons' favourite picture of her.

(Drawing by Brian)

360518 - Prince Aly Khan and his bride, photographed after the civil ceremony, with the Aga Khan, the bride's mother and Begum Andree ( Prince Sadruddin is in the middle holding Prince Alykhan's and Princess Tajudaullah's hand)

570700 - The Aga Khan, Prince Amyn and Princess Joan Aly Khan at the memorial service for the Aga Khan's grandfather at Woking mosque.

790906 - Princess Tajudaullah with the Noorani Family at the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre in London, Thursday, Sept.6, 1979

790906b -Princess Tajudaullah with the Noorani Family at the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre in London, Thursday, Sept.6, 1979

820000 - Princess Tajudaullah - portrait

820000b - Princess Tajudaullah with Princess Salimah - Pakistan Visit

On 18 May 1936, Joan and Aly were married quietly in Paris with the Aga Khan, Andree, and Lady Ali Shah present and looking elegant in her jewelled sari.....

Following the civil ceremony, the bridal party was chauffeured across Paris to the Muslim Mosque for a religious ceremony. Persian carpet had been laid on the floor in the splendour of the Hall of Prayers where, according to Ismaili custom, the wedding couple sat on the floor. There were no guests or members of the press. Joan was given the name Tajudowlah (Crown of the State), not a Muslim religious name, but based on Qajar royal titles;

Throne of Gold

- 135 227

Quotes from "The Aga Khan's" - Willie Frischauer

1. "War also uprooted Princess Joan. Having spent the last summer of peace in Deauville with Karim and Amyn, she worked for a while with the Red Cross before going to join Aly. She took the children by sea from Marseilles to Cairo where a friend put them up and went on to Beirut alone to look for a house. Her choice fell on "a beautiful villa with a big garden and orange trees" about which she still enthuses, she collected the children and resumed her Red Cross work with the Beirut branch. (May 1940) (pg135)

**picture of MHI and P. Amyn with hose in garden**

2. In 1941, following the advice of His Highness Aga Khan III, regarding the children, Karim and Amyn, "Princess Joan went with them to Nairobi and installed them in the family house in the Caledonian Road." - The Aga Khan Bungalow. (Pg.136)

3. News of their two little boys in Nairobi was comforting. Karim and Amyn were kept so busy they had little time to miss their parents. From the children's point of view, the Aga Khan Bungalow was an ideal home - the jungle garden full of parakeets and budgerigars, the tennis-court, the big lawns. Karim, Princess Joan remembers, had all his lead soldiers with him - a present from Grandfather - and fought many a war of his own. Both boys adored Doris Lyon, their governess, and loved Kaderali, the young Ismaili missionary who became their tutor: "He was an enchanting young man," their mother recalled, "but though they loved him they gave him a terrible time. He had only to turn his head and they were out of the window and in the garden." (Pg.140)

4.By the time he was seven, the boy (Karim) had progressed so well with his religious education, Kaderali was confident that he was quite capable of leading the community in prayer. Easter, 1943, was the date chosen for his debut in the Jamatkhana and on the morning of the appointed day, amid great excitement, dressed in a grey sherwani, white jodhpur and black astrakan hat, he faced his grandfather's followers. Princess Joan was a little anxious as she watched him taking his place at the head of the community. She had no cause to worry. Her son did not betray his nervousness, was word perfect and came through the difficult ceremony without faltering, "A great accomplishment for such a small boy," Princess Joan said, heaving a sign of relief in the memory of the day. (Pg. 144)

5. When the old Aga returned from Africa and was staying in Lausanne, the boys were taken to see him: "An extraordinary relationship developed between my father-in-law and my elder son," recalls Princess Joan, "K" always talked to his grandfather as if they were contemporaries. There was a powerful bond between them." It was probably due to grandfather's influence that Karim was mature beyond his age without forgoing the pleasures of a typical teenager's life. Karim - but not Amyn liked rowing, became very good with his sculls and also played football well. Both he and Amyn liked skiing and tennis. Although very close, the brothers were different in character and, as their mother put it, "didn't collect the same things" (pg.152)

Electronic Telegraph
Saturday 3 May 1997
Issue 708

Joan Viscountess Camrose

Society hostess whose son became the Aga Khan before she married a press baron

JOAN VISCOUNTESS CAMROSE, who has died aged 89, was the widow of the 2nd Viscount Camrose, the former chairman of The Daily Telegraph; she was a great hostess, of a kind and on a scale that has now vanished.

By her previous marriage to Prince Aly Khan she was also the mother of the present Aga Khan, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, hereditary spiritual leader of the world's Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

Joan Camrose never for one moment displayed boredom, intolerance or ill temper; nor, well-informed though she was, did she seek to dominate conversations. She listened, she interjected sensible comments and she made all with whom she talked feel that they were both attractive and intelligent.

At Hackwood Park, the Camroses' house in Hampshire, she exercised to the full her skill in giving enjoyment to a great variety of people of all ages, and she provided food of an outstanding standard. Duff Hart-Davis recalled lunching at Hackwood: "This is lobster, sir," said the steward. "Don't stint yourself."

She had a great capacity for taking trouble, and took a genuine interest in others - qualities which were evident in the connection she maintained, long after her divorce from Prince Aly Khan, with the Ismaili community.

When her 20-year old son became Aga Khan IV and the 49th Ismaili Imam in 1957, she accompanied him to his accession ceremonies in Africa and India, helping him to make the necessary arrangements and to deal with the world's leaders and media along the way. In 1983 she attended the ceremony in Karachi for the laying of the foundation stone of the Aga Khan University.

She was born Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller on April 22 1908, the eldest daughter of the 3rd Lord Churston by his marriage to the actress Jessie Smither. Miss Smither had appeared, under the name Denise Orme, playing the violin and singing at the Alhambra and the Gaiety. The couple were married secretly at the Kensington registry office in April 1907.

Lord Churston's family, rooted in Devon since Tudor times, came to prominence in the mid-18th century. His ancestor Sir Francis Buller, 1st Bt, was a judge of the Court of King's Bench, and then of the Common Pleas. Sir Francis's grandson John, Conservative MP for Devon from 1835 to 1858, was raised to the peerage as Baron Churston, of Churston Ferrers and Lupton, in Devon, in 1858.

Joan's father was ADC to the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon (a former occupant of Hackwood), from 1902 to 1903, and then to the Duke of Connaught, from 1904 to 1906. She had three sisters, Denise, who married the 5th Lord Ebury, Lydia, who married the 13th Duke of Bedford, and Primrose, who married the 7th Earl Cadogan. In 1946, their mother became the third wife of the 7th Duke of Leinster.

Young Joan was vivacious and attractive. Although not quite as beautiful as her mother - Cecil Beaton once said that he was "fascinated by her [Joan's] subtle appearance, a strange paradox of prettiness and misshapen ugliness" - she possessed great charm and kindness of heart.

In 1927 she married the handsome and eligible Loel Guinness, a member of the Anglo-Irish brewing and banking family who was later one of the celebrated pilots of No 601 Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force. Their son Patrick was killed in a motor accident in 1965, leaving a young family.

The marriage was dissolved in 1936, and shortly afterwards she married Prince Aly Khan, whom she had met at a dinner party at Deauville, when the Prince was seeing Thelma, Viscountess Furness. "I had been involved with several women," Prince Aly later said. "I was tired of trouble. Joan was a sane and solid girl, and I thought if I married her, I would stay out of trouble."

Princess Joan's father-in-law was the immensely rich Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III, Imam of 15 million Ismaili Muslims, twice President of the League of Nations and the owner of five Derby winners.

Aga Khan III and the Duchess of Leinster were witnesses at his son's marriage to Joan in Paris. When Prince Aly and his new wife (who became a Muslim) visited Karachi, they were greeted by crowds of the faithful.

During the war they lived in Cairo. Prince Aly was serving in the Middle East, for a time on the staff of the French General Catroux. They had two sons, Princes Karim and Amyn.

Karim was nominated by his grandfather to succeed him as Aga Khan. By the time he did in 1957, Prince and Princess Aly Khan were divorced. Almost a decade earlier, the Prince had switched his attentions to the actress Rita Hayworth, whom he resolved to marry. In 1949 his marriage to Princess Joan had therefore been dissolved - though she had continued on excellent terms with Aga Khan III.

Besides remaining close to her sons and her grandchildren, she devoted the remainder of her life to providing affection and companionship for Lord Camrose, a member of the Fleet Street dynasty founded by his fatherthe 1st Viscount Camrose and his uncle Viscount Kemsley.

They were discreet about their friendship; but after more than 30 years they were married, quietly in Gibraltar, in March 1986, and they remained a devoted couple.

Lord Camrose died in 1995. His younger brother and heir, Lord Hartwell, disclaimed the Camrose peerage for life.

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