Iran’s Empress Opens Her Heart

Half a century ago, then-Miss Farah Diba married the shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who crowned her Shahbanou, or Empress, eight years later.

This past June, 30 years since the Islamic revolution overthrew the Shah, the Empress watched as her homeland erupted in protest against a disputed presidential election. In a rare intimate interview with New York gallery owner and longtime family friend Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller, the Shahbanou shares her sadness, her memories, and her hopes for her compatriots. First, by way of introduction, Vanity Fair writer Regan biographer Bob Colacello, who visited Iran three years before the revolution in 1979 and spent time with the royal family, offers his firsthand insights, as well as a primer on the rich history of this troubled nation.