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Mohammed Zahir Shah
محمد ظاهر شاه
King of Afghanistan
King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan in 1963.jpg
Portrait of Zahir Shah, 1963
King of Afghanistan
Reign8 November 1933 – 17 July 1973
Installation8 November 1933
PredecessorMohammed Nadir Shah
SuccessorMonarchy abolished (Daoud Khan as President of Afghanistan)
Head of House of Barakzai
Reign8 November 1933 – 23 July 2007
PredecessorMohammed Nadir Shah
SuccessorAhmad Shah Khan
Born15 October 1914[1]
Kabul, Afghanistan
Died23 July 2007(2007-07-23) (aged 92)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Burial
Maranjan Hill
SpouseHumaira Begum
IssuePrincess Bilqis Begum
Prince Muhammed Akbar Khan
Crown Prince Ahmad Shah Khan
Princess Maryam Begum
Prince Muhammed Nadir Khan
Prince Shah Mahmoud Khan
Prince Muhammed Daoud Pashtunyar Khan
Prince Mir Wais Khan
HouseBarakzai
FatherMohammed Nadir Shah
MotherMah Parwar Begum
ReligionSunni Islam

Mohammed Zahir Shah (Pashto: محمد ظاهرشاه‎, Persian: محمد ظاهر شاه‎; 15 October 1914 – 23 July 2007) was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning from 8 November 1933 until he was deposed on 17 July 1973.[2] He expanded Afghanistan's diplomatic relations with many countries, including with both Cold War sides.[3] In the 1950s, Zahir Shah began modernizing the country, culminating in the creation of a new constitution and a constitutional monarchy system. His long reign was marked by peace in the country that was lost afterwards.[4]

While on vacation in Italy, Zahir Shah's regime was overthrown in a "white coup" in 1973 by his cousin and former prime minister, Mohammed Daoud Khan, who established a republic.[5] He remained in exile near Rome until 2002, returning to Afghanistan after the end of the Taliban government. He was given the title Father of the Nation, which he held until his death in 2007.[1]