Crowning the "Sun of the Aryans": Mohammad Reza Shah's Coronation and Monarchical Spectacle in Pahlavi Iran

Robert Steele
2021 International Journal of Middle East Studies  
Coronations are commonly held at the beginning of a monarch's reign, symbolizing accession to the throne and the continuation of the dynasty. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's coronation ceremony of 1967, however, was held twenty-six years into his rule and was designed to draw attention to the renewed glory of Iranian monarchy and the successes of the Pahlavi shahs. This coronation ceremony and related events offer important insights into the Pahlavi ideologues' conceptualization of monarchy and the
more » ... tegies they employed to inculcate their ideology in a domestic and global audience. The shah and the monarchy were presented as revolutionary and reformist, and simultaneously as the ultimate defenders of tradition; as religious by nature, but also as proponents of the separation of church and state. This paper seeks to understand, using a range of underutilized primary source material, how the regime delivered these apparently contradictory notions, and what it sought to gain from holding the event in the way that it did.
doi:10.1017/s002074382000121x fatcat:6xqioblcnrdknayann4pvfaapq