From Kendra Spears to Princess Salwa Aga Khan | Mail Online
25 February 2014
From supermodel to Princess Salwa Aga Khan:
Kendra married a millionaire prince - but hasn't given up the day job!
The Duchess of Cambridge's rise from commoner to world-famous Royal has been well documented but there's an intriguing new Princess on the block. American supermodel Kendra Spears, who is married to Prince Rahim Aga Khan, has a fairy-tale story to rival that of the former Kate Middleton. So what's the story of the Seattle college student-turned-Princess Salwa, who was pictured this week on a modelling shoot in Miami's South Beach?
The 25-year-old earned her title when she married Prince Rahim Aga Khan, 42, the eldest son of billionaire racehorse owner, His Highness Aga Khan IV, last September. Prince Rahim studied in the U.S. at Brown University and the Navarra Business School in Barcelona, Spain, is involved in the poverty reduction efforts of the Aga Khan Development Network. His father, the Aga Khan, a British national, is the 49th hereditary Imam of Ismaili Shi'as, and is regarded by his followers as a direct bloodline descendent of the prophet Mohamed.
After an engagement of only four months, Kendra and Prince Rahim exchanged vows at the Bellerive Castle in Geneva, Switzerland. The Seattle-born beauty, who was 24 at the time, wore a stunning ivory sari with gold embroidery to marry her husband in a traditional Muslim ceremony. The union of Kendra and Prince Rahim, reportedly worth around $800m, was the culmination of a fairytale story for the Seattle-born beauty, who rapidly rose to fame after winning an online modelling contest.
THE BEAUTIFUL BRIDES OF THE AGA KHAN
Miss Spears has married into a family with a long-established history of beautiful brides. Her husband's paternal grandfather Prince Aly Khan
was famously married to Rita Hayworth.
Prince Rahim's British mother, Princess Salimah Aga Khan
, was known as supermodel Sarah Croker-Poole before she wed, though she and the Aga Khan divorced in 1995, she continues to be known by her married name. The Aga Khan, 75, then married German former pop star Princess Gabrielle zu Leiningen née Gabriele Renate Homey
in 1998, after which she took the name Inaara, though they separated in 2004. She remains the Begum Inaara Aga Khan until a formal divorce after which she will be known as Princess Inaara Aga Khan.
Prince Rahim follows in the footsteps of his younger brother, who also married an American model. Prince Hussain
, 39, wed New York professor's daughter Kristin White in 2006 in a fairytale ceremony at a 14th century chateau outside of Paris. The bride converted to Islam and adopted the name Khaliya. The marriage appears to have been short-lived though as it was reported in 2011 that the pair - who have no children - had split.
The Aga Khan's daughter, Princess Zahra
, 43, also had a failed marriage. She married British male model and farmer's son Mark Boyden in 1997 - and had two children, daughter Sara, and son Iliyan with him - but they divorced in 2005.