Happy Birthday to Princess Salimah Aga Khan, who turns 80 today! Born Sarah Frances Croker-Poole, the daughter of Lt.-Col. Arthur Edward Croker-Poole and Jean Margaret Watson, in New Delhi, she grew up in Britain and was among the last debutantes presented to the Queen in 1958.
She married, firstly, Lord James Charles Crichton-Stuart, son of John Crichton-Stuart, 5th Marquess of Bute and Lady Eileen Beatrice Forbes, on 25 June 1959. She and Lord James Charles Crichton-Stuart were divorced in 1968. One year later, she married Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, the 49th hereditary Imam of Nizari Ismailism, son of Prince Aly Aga Khan and Hon. Princess Tajuddawlah Aga Khan, in 1969. During her marriage to the Aga Khan, her official name was Her Highness The Begum Salimah Aga Khan, although she remained informally known as Sally. The couple had three children: Princess Zahra Aga Khan (born 18 September 1970), Prince Rahim Aga Khan (born 12 October 1971) and Prince Hussain Aga Khan (born 10 April 1974). The couple sadly divorced in 1995. Following their divorce, she kept the title of ‘Princess’ (but losing the style ‘Highness’).
Since Their Highnesses separated, more then ever, Princess Salimah has committed herself to supporting various humanitarian efforts, especially those in the areas of health and child support. It became her life.
Princess Salimah is a child-welfare activist and a prominent supporter of the charity SOS Children’s Villages International (SOS Kinderdorf International), becoming its first International Ambassador. She appointed the first SOS-Kinderdorf International Ambassador for Children in 2000, is actively involved in that organization’s work and has visited SOS Children’s facilities in Cambodia, Nepal, Romania, France, Egypt, India, Austria, South Africa, Pakistan, Germany, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Portugal, and the United States. Princess Salimah Aga Khan, has also been active in the Aga Khan Development Network, and resides in Switzerland since 1969.
Come into the world of SOS Children’s Villages International
Princess Salimah is very respected and loved, for her eternal love, her kindness (I will never forget!), her honesty, and her help (she hates the word ‘charity’!). Yakymour wishes her a beautiful birthday with her familiy and friends. Hope we’ll meet again. Love always.
by Jean Amr