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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world


Dagger and scabbard

RCIN 62812

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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This dagger is said to have belonged to King Faisal I of Iraq’s great-grandfather, Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Mu'in ibn 'Awn. According to an accompanying letter, King Faisal considered it ‘his most valuable heirloom’ and chose it as a personal gift for King George V. King Faisal died in 1933, before the gift could be presented, so his son, King Ghazi (r. 1933–1939), carried out his father’s wishes by dispatching it to Buckingham Palace. It was presented by Sir Francis Humphrys, British Ambassador to Iraq.

Humphrys had become High Commissioner to Iraq in 1929, when it was still a British Mandate. He remained there for six years, becoming the first British ambassador to the newly independent state in 1932. King Faisal I was the first King of the independent Kingdom of Iraq and made a State Visit to the United Kingdom in June 1933.