The start of the coronation ceremony: The Imam Djomeh, the highest Moslem authority of the country, reads verses of the Koran and a special Coronation Prayer.

The coronation ceremony in the Grand Hall of the Golestan Palace began with the reading of some verses of the Koran by the Imam Djomeh, spiritual leader of the country and personal confidant of the Shah of Iran After a special prayer for the coronation, the Imam presented the Holy Book to the Shah, who kissed it and placed it over the blue cushion over which it had been brought in procession. Afterwards the ritual of His Imperial Majesty’s Coronation immediately began. The various military officers that had brough the regalia in procession approached the Shah, one at each time. Like Napoleon, the Shah would crown himself. Everyone rose.

First the officer carrying the Emerald Belt approached and the Shah took it from the cushion and placed it around his waist, with the enormous emerald in the front. Then the officer carrying the Royal Sword (also known as the Shahi Sword) in a cushion approached and the Shah took it and hung it on the belt. Afterwards, two members of the Imperial Household brought the Imperial Robe, embroidered with precious stones (also used on the coronation of Reza Shah the Great in 1926), and placed it around the Shah’s shoulders. Finally the supreme moment had come. A general brought the cushion with the Imperial Crown of Iran, made for the Coronation of 1926, the crown of the World’s most ancient Empire. The Shah, with swift movements, took the crown and placed it on his head. The moment for which Iran had waited 26 years had finally taken place. Immediately, one hundred and one canon blasts sounded through Teheran, marking the coronation of the sovereign, cheers were heard through the country and especially in the streets of the capital, prayers were said in the Mosques.

Having placed the Emerald Belt around his waist, the Shah is delivered the Royal Sword and hangs it in the belt.

Two members of the Imperial Household place the Imperial Robe, embroidered with precious stones, around the Shah’s shoulders.

In these two pictures, the moment the Shah of Iran places the Pahlavi Imperial Crown on his head, while an officer carrying the Imperial Sceptre on a cushion approaches (below).

Another cushion was then brought forward, the one with the Imperial Sceptre. The Coronation of the Shah had taken place. After the coronation of the Empress, only a few moments later, and the presentation of the Crown Prince, the Prime Minister, Mr. Hoveyda made a speech in which he praised the work of the Shah throughout his reign, presenting His Majesty the congratulations in name of the whole nation.

Afterwards, the President of the Senate presented his compliments to the Shah in a brief speech, which followed by a text read by a professor of the University of Teheran explaining the meaning of the coronation. Then, the Shah made a brief speech, delivered in a different tone of his usual one, many saying that he could not disguise the emotion he was feeling:

“I thank God who has given me the possibility of accomplish, for my people and my country, all the services that my power enabled to accomplish for them. I equally ask God that, in the future, I may continue to serve my people as I have done until this moment. The only purpose of my life is the honour and the glory of my people and of my country. I have one single hope: to maintain the independence and sovereignty of Iran and make the Iranian people progress. To accomplish this purpose, I will be ready, if it was necessary to offer my life.

“In this moment, as I place the crown of the oldest Empire of the World in my head and when for the first time in History The Shahbanou of Iran also receives the crown, I feel even closer to my noble people, so caring of their national traditions, and I vow that this people be always protected by the divine grace.

“The God Almighty allow me to give the next generations a cheerful country and a prosperous society and that my son, the Crown Prince, may remain under the divine protection in the accomplishment of the important role that he will carry on his shoulders.”

After having crowned his wife and presented the heir to the throne, the Shah delivered a brief speech, reproduced here. It was ailed by the political world as a clear vow to continue the modernization of Iran.

It was the spirit of the Coronation, the one that the Shah had wanted to remain after the ceremony worth of the tales of the “thousand and one nights”: he was ready to offer his life for the development of Iran. This speech was a confirmation of the sovereign’s will to modernize the country and to bring stability to the region, creating a powerful Iran, words very well received through the political world.

The male members of the Imperial Family, half-brothers of the Shah, came to bow and pay homage to him, with what the Coronation ceremony came to an end.