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Shahbanu (Persian: شهبانو Šahbānū lit. "King's Lady") was the title for queen consort in Persian and other Iranian languages. The two Sassanian empresses, Purandokht and Azarmidokht, c. 630, were the last two that carried the title before Farah Pahlavi, the third wife of the King of Iran Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, assumed the title on being crowned queen in 1967 for the first time since the Arab conquest of Iran in the 7th century.
As an empress during Sassanid times, the principal Shahbanu was also titled bâmbişnân bâmbişn ("Queen of Queens") analogous to the emperor's title şâhânşâh (lit. "King of Kings") to distinguish her from the other queens in the royal household.
Farah Pahlavi sometimes continues to be referred to as Shahbanu, as is customarily done internationally for titleholders associated with abolished monarchies, but the title is no longer valid in Iran. According to pre-revolutionary rules, Yasmine Pahlavi, Crown Princess of Iran, would currently hold this title.
- Sedghi, Hamideh (2007-07-09). Women and Politics in Iran: Veiling, Unveiling, and Reveiling. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139463720.