Some of the guests waiting inside the Tent of Honour, before the start of the grand state banquet of Persepolis. From left, King Frederik IX of Denmark, King Olav V of Norway, King Constantine II of The Hellenes, Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes, Crown Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden, Vice-President Spiro Agnew and his wife, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines, the President of Turkey and the Queen of the Belgians.

It is nearly impossible to bring together a list of all the royal and state guests that attended the Persepolis celebrations in October 1971. Unlike most grand royal events, the celebration of the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire did not only provide an awesome gathering of royalty from around the world, it also meant a most awesome gathering of World leaders which would rarely have been seen together before. All the five continents were represented in Persepolis, especially Europe. Many comments could be made about the guests, such as the fact that the President of the United States, Richard Nixon, had planned to attend, but then dispatched his Vice-President amid fears of a terrorist attack.

The British Foreign Office recommended that Queen Elizabeth II should stay away of Persepolis, because the celebrations would probably be insecure, messy and undignified. The Prince of Wales was suggested to attend, but he refused to go because the celebrations clashed with his Royal Navy training. Prince Philip and Princess Anne volunteered to go, to prevent any diplomatic quarrel with Iran. The old Emperor Hailé Selassié of Ethiopia was visibly frail during the ceremonies, but he took his little dog, that appeared wearing a magnificent diamond necklace! The Prince and Princess of Naples, who had married discreetly in Teheran without the consent of King Umberto II, were also making their first official appearance.

Above, Princess Anne of the United Kingdom and her father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who represented Queen Elizabeth II at the Persepolis celebrations. Below, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in two different moments of the evening, with the Shahbanou and the Shah.

The European Royal Families were present in great force: TM The King and Queen of Denmark, Frederik IX and Ingrid, were the most senior royal guests. From neighbouring Norway HM The King, Olav V also attended, while the old King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden had sent his grandson and heir, HRH Crown Prince Carl Gustaf. The King and Queen of the Belgians, Baudouin I and Fabiola, represented their country in the festivities, while the exiled but still titular sovereign couple of Greece, TM King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of The Hellenes, were accompanied by HRH Prince Michael of Greece to the celebrations. HM The Queen of the Netherlands was represented by her husband, HRH The Prince Bernhard.

The Royal Family Luxembourg was also present at the highest level, with TRH The Grand-Duke and Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg, Jean and Josephine-Charlotte, travelling to Iran with their daughter, the young Princess Astrid. TSH The Prince and Princess of Monaco, Rainier III and Grace, attended, as did TSH The Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein, Franz Joseph II and Gina. As told before, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH The Princess Anne represented Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The Italian Royal Family must be considered as semi-officially represented, as the Prince of Naples wasn’t in good terms with his father, the Head of the House of Savoy.

On the left, Grand-Duke Jean and Grand-Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg. On the right, Queen Fabiola of the Belgians is seen talking to Princess Sofia of Spain.

TRH The Prince and Princess of Spain, Juan Carlos and Sofia, represented General Franco and the Kingdom of Spain at the festivities. Prince Juan Carlos, previously known as Prince of the Asturias, had been designated successor of dictator Francisco Franco “with the title of King” in 1969. The European republics were also well represented: the President of the Soviet Union, Nikolai Podgorny, met in Teheran some of the other communist leaders of Europe: Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia (accompanied by his wife Jovanka), President Ceaucescu of Romania (accompanied by his wife Elena) and President Pal Losonczi of Hungary. President Ludvík Svoboda of Czechoslovakia, President Cevdet Sunay of Turkey and President Urho Kekkonen of Finland completed the list of European heads of state. His Holiness Pope Paul VI sent Cardinal Maximilian of Furstenberg as his special representative.

The French President had planned to attend, but later decided to send his Prime Minister, Jacques Chaban-Delmas, who was accompanied by his wife, whom he had recently married. The German Chancellor Willy Brandt, who would receive the Nobel Peace Prize a few weeks later in Norway, represented West Germany, while Emilio Colombo, the Italian Prime Minister, represented Italy. Vice-President Klimaszewski represented Poland and Fritz Wahlen, former President of Switzerland, represented his country. Portugal was represented by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Rui Patrício.

Above, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, who apparently had to travel to Iran in the same plane that took the King and Queen of the Belgians because their plane broke before leaving Nice. Below, Prince Franz Joseph II and the glamorous Princess Gina of Liechtenstein.

Asia was also present in force: HM The King of Jordan, Hussein, and his second wife, HRH Princess Muna, were accompanied by King Husseins young sister, Princess Basma. TM The King and Queen of Nepal, TM The King and Queen of Malaysia, HRH Prince Bhalubandutzagala of Thailand, Prince Abdul Vali Khan (uncle of HM The King of Afghanistan) and Prince Mikasa of Japan (brother of HIM Emperor Hirohito) were among the Asian royals present at the celebrations. In addition, the Sultan of Oman and the Emirs of Kuwait and Bahrein were equally present.

General Yahya Khan, the President of Pakistan, was accompanied by the Begum Aga Khan III during the celebrations. From neighbouring India came President Varahagiri Giri Venkata, while from China came the Vice-President of the National Assembly, Kuo Mo-jo. The President of Lebanon, Suleiman Franjieh, and the Prime Ministers of Yemen and Korea. President Marcos of the Philippines was represented by his wife, Imelda, and their daughter.

Above, Princess Sofia of Spain greets the Begum Aga Khan III, who wears an unidentified parure which might have been a loan for the event. Below, the Emperor of Ethiopia accompanies Empress Farah to the fireworks, while King Baudouin walks with his wife, Queen Fabiola.

From Africa came HIM The Emperor of Ethiopia, Hailé Selassié, and HM The King of Lesotho, King Moshoeshoe II, while King Hassan II of Morocco preferred to send his brother as his representative, and Prince Makhosini, Prime Minister of Swaziland, represented his sovereign. Other heads of state from Africa present were Hubert Maga, President of Dahomey (later Benin), Leopold Senghor, President of Senegal, Moktar Ould Daddah, President of Mauritania, and Jacobus Fouché, President of South Africa. The Prime Minister of Algeria was also present, while the Tunisian President sent a special representative.

From the United States of America, President Nixon sent his Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, to represent him, while from Canada the Governor-General Roland Michener attended. Petronio Portela, President of the Brazilian Government, represented Brazil. Finally, the Governor-General of Australia, Sir Paul Hasluck, represented his country.

On the left, King Hussein of Jordan walks with Queen Fabiola to the Banqueting Hall for the state banquet. In the centre, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie in the Tent of Honour, before the banquet. On the left, King Hussein is pictured with his young sister, Princess Basma of Jordan.