PRESS RELEASE: Aiglemont, France: Saturday, June 21, 1997

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, only daughter of His Highness the Aga Khan, married Mr. Mark Boyden, son of Mr & Mrs John Boyden of Dorset, England, last Saturday.

The civil ceremony was conducted by the Mayor of Gouvieux, Mr. Patrick Marchand, at Aiglemont, the Aga Khan's family home in France. The couple's wedding was blessed by Muslim leaders from Paris. A separate ceremony at the historic Chateau of Chantilly included recitations from the Holy Qur'an and from Muslim devotional poetry, and a blessing in the Anglican tradition.

The Chateau of Chantilly, originally home to the Princes of Conde and currently owned by the Institut de France, dominates the town and surrounding countryside in an area with which the Aga Khan's family has had close links going back over three generations.

Present among the family, friends and dignitaries were King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, Crown Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and his daughter, the Princess Badiya and Empress Farah Pahlavi. Among the invited guests at a dinner at the family home later in the evening were members of the European Royal Families, ambassadors representing sixteen countries from across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe, and leading academic and cultural personalities.

Princess Zahra is the eldest of the three children of the Aga Khan and Princess Salimah Aga Khan, all of whom attended the wedding. She was born in Geneva on September 18, 1970, attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland and subsequently Harvard University, from where she graduated in 1994 with an Honours Degree in Third World Development Studies. Since completing her university studies, Princess Zahra has worked at her father's Secretariat, where she is actively involved in social development activities, focusing particularly on women's development and alleviating the conditions of the very poor in Africa and Asia. Princess Zahra has two younger brothers, Prince Rahim, born in 1971 and Prince Hussain, born in 1974.

Mr Mark Boyden was born in London on November 5, 1961. He attended Darlington Hall School. Subsequently, he completed a Masters in Business Administration at Oxford Brookes University, concentrating on Business Ethics with special reference to Human Rights and Child Labour in the developing world. Since graduating from University, Mr Boyden has been working as a management consultant while also being involved with his family's farming interests. Mr Boyden has one elder sister, Dr Jo Boyden, an anthropologist and development consultant with whom he has collaborated on a number of projects.

Dr Boyden and her husband, Dr Brain Pratt, are extensively involved in international development.

Princess Zahra and Mr Boyden will divide their time between England and Frace where Princess Zahra will continue her development work at her father's Secretariat.


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