Royal Afghanistan


The former Kingdom of Afghanistan

The Kingdom of Afghanistan was abolished in 1973 following a coup d'etat when HM The King of Afghanistan, Muhammed Zâhir Shah (15 Oct 1914-23 July 2007), was abroad. The King lived in exile in Rome, Italy, until his permanent return to his homeland in April 2002. King Muhammed Zâhir acceeded to the throne on 8 November 1933 (on the assassination of his father, King Nahir Shah). He married on 7 November 1931 Humaira (d. 26 June 2002), daughter of Sardar Ahmad Shah Khan. Children:

  • HRH Princess Bilquis (1931-)
  • HRH Prince Muhammed Abkar Khan (1933-1942)
  • HRH Prince Ahmed Shah Khan (current head) (23 September 1934-)
  • HRH Princess Maryam (1936-)
  • HRH Prince Muhammed Nahir (1941-)
  • HRH Prince Shah Mahmud (1946-2002)
  • HRH Prince Daud (1949-)
  • HRH Prince Mir Wais (1957-)
According to BBC News 27 June 2002, King Muhammed and Queen Humaira had 9 children. See The Royal Ark for more details.

Source: Whitaker's Almanach 1969, pp. 816-817; Genealogical Gleanings. Afghanistan (Barakzai).

The late Father of the Nation, former King Zâhir Shah of Afghanistan. The photo is reproduced here by permission of the then Secretary of HM King Zahir Shah. Source: The Royal House of Afghanistan (former (?) official page).

Article 156 of the Constitution of Afghanistan (2004) says:

"The Title of the Father of the Nation and the privileges granted by the Emergency Loya Jirga of 1381 (2002) to His Majesty Mohammad Zahir Former King of Afghanistan are preserved for him during his lifetime, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution."

Source: Constitutional Commission Afghanistan

Among the privileges were a permanent residence in the Presidential Palace and a ceremonial role.

News and facts about the Royal House

The former Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

On 27 September 1996, the ruling members of the Afghan Government were displaced by members of the Islamic Taliban movement, cf. The Taliban movement, which today has control of around 90% of the territory of Afghanistan, was formally declared as The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on 26 October 1997, cf. NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå/Norwegian Telegraphic Agency) the same day. The leader of the Taliban movement, Mullah Mohammed Omar, was referred to as Emir al-Momineen ("Commander of the Faithful"). It should be stressed that the emirate was a religious one and cannot be compared with the seculiar Western monarchies.

At Almanach de Bruxelles it is stated that Mullah Mohammed Omar was chosen as Emir already on 4 March 1996 and became de facto head of state in September 1997.

The Taliban regime was not recognized by the international society. Originally Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had diplomatic connections with the regime, but these have been broken following the terror attacks on 11 September 2001.

Updates: Following the United States' military action in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance's troops made their entry into Kabul early on 13 November 2001 after the Taliban forces had left. The day after the Taliban city of Kadahar was about to fall, and former President Rabbiani was the same day expected to declare himself as the country's new leader and to "lead the provinces freed from the Taleban and also head the task of freeing provinces now under the control of the Islamist militia".

By 14 November the Taliban had lost Kabul and other major cities and controlled less than 20% of the territory of Afghanistan, which means the emirate now could be described as abolished.

The Provisional Government 2001-2004

Historical information

Following negotations in Bonn, a provisional Government headed by Mr. Hamid Karzai was inaugurated on 22 December 2001. The main points in the agreement reached in Bonn:

  • The Provisional Government will stay in office for 6 months. It will exercise the state's sovereignty and take the country's seat in the UN and other international agencies.
  • The new leadership will consist of a Provisional Government, an independent commission which will summon the Loya Jirga, and the Supreme Court. The commission will make sure that "a considerable number" of women will be included.
  • The Loya Jirga will meet within 6 months and is to be opened by the former King. It will elect a new head of state and estaboish a new provisional Government. The new Government will draw out a new Constitution based on the Constitution of 1964 and reign until new and free elections are held, at latest within 2 years.
  • The Provisional Government is to establish a new Central Bank and an independent Human Rights Commission, which among others will investigate such crimes.
  • All weapened groups and forces in the country are to subordinate themselves to the command of the Provisional Government. The new regime will co-operate with the international society in the fight against terrorism and drugs.
  • (Source: Aftenposten 6 December 2001.)

Legal information

Texts of the Constitution(s) of the former Kingdom of Afghanistan (Constitutions of 1923, 1931 and 1963) and other historical material will be added later.


Other information on Afghanistan

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This page was last updated on Tuesday 16 February 2010
(first time published at on Tuesday 18 September 2001).

© 2001-2010 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth