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Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Inquest into Shah's daughter's death
Princess Leila Pahlavi
Princess Leila was found dead in a London hotel
An inquest has opened into the death of the youngest daughter of the late Shah of Iran.

Princess Leila Pahlavi, 31, was found dead at the Leonard Hotel in west London, on Sunday evening.


She could not stand living far from Iran and shared wholeheartedly the suffering of her countrymen

Queen Farah

The inquest into her death was formally opened at Westminster Coroner's Court in central London on Wednesday.

It was adjourned to a date yet to be set.

A post-mortem examination has failed to establish the cause of death, but police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

It was being classed as an "unexplained death", they said.

'Lengthy illness'

Princess Leila's brother Reza Pahlavi has said in a statement released on the internet that his sister had been suffering from a "lengthy illness."

Queen Farah said her daughter had been "very depressed".

Exiled at nine, the princess had never got over the death of her father, His Majesty Mohamed Reza Shah Pahlavi, she said.

"She could not stand living far from Iran and shared wholeheartedly the suffering of her countrymen," said Queen Farah.

Princess Leila was the youngest of the late Shah of Iran's five children, and the fourth by his third wife.

Her family fled Iran in 1979 after the Islamic revolution and settled in America after the Shah's death from cancer in 1980.

Princess Leila, who was unmarried, is reported to have spent much of the year staying at the Leonard Hotel, paying 450 a night for her favourite suite.

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See also:

12 Jun 01 | UK
Shah's daughter found dead
12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Shah's daughter 'could not stand' exile
11 Jun 01 | Middle East
Timeline: Iran
03 Aug 98 | Middle East
Iran: First Shah Film
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