of one of the world's richest rulers and stepmother nnry 7, 1962 of the late Aly Khan, seemed destined to influence millions; he far in excesa of the $20 million left to Karim. There always was great mystery about the Aga's wealth. He said I'epeatedly—and usually with a smile—that he did not know how much he was worth. You could translate his smile to suit yourself. He had much to gain, of course, by not revealing the extent of his riches—reputedly $2 billion dollars and an income of $1 million a year. Following the Aga's death there was great commotion when between $200 million and $500 million dollars was believed missing. It was thought at first that the Aga had deposited this money in banks around the world because he did not wish his fortune consumed by death taxes. Finally, the heirs engaged detectives. But wherever these men went, they were informed by inexorable bank officials that no information would be forthcoming without evidence of deposit dates. At last the Begum offered a clue. She believed, she said, that the Aga had ordered his "secret deposits" to remain untouched until it was certain there would be no problem about the millions he had left openly. A dozen or more of his most faithful followers, it seemed, had been entrusted with documents which, once his will was properly executed, would release his secret deposits for the IWoslem poor, always his favorite charity. It would appear this has now been accomplished. I often wonder if the Begum's visit to the United State.s—at a time when it was unlikely that she would have wished to leave the ailing Aga—was nut part of this plan. The One Thing the Begum Wanted I said earlier that during the Aga's life there had been only one thing the Begum wanted which she had not gotten. This was acceptance by his family. Between them, there was an exchange of formal manners, nothing more. She made what I imagine was her last attempt to ingratiate herself into the family group when Aly died. She gave every evidence of mourning. She accepted condolences. And .she was photographed with the family at the Chateau L'Horizon where, in Aly's life, she never went. Today, the Begum, who has shown no interest in any man since the Aga's death, leads a quiet life. Occasionally she visits the palace at Monaco. Her saris, which suited her beauty, have given way to white slacks, which are more appropriate for her yacht on which she spends much of her time. And lately, groping perhaps for the glamour she used to know, she seems to welcome personal publicity, even catering to the tabloids. Everything, I'm sure—except her fabulous wealth—is very different than she hoped for or than the Aga intended it to be. In spite of all the careful plans, she has not escaped her fate. She is just another rich and lonely widow. She is just another forgotten woman. Fiimiltj Weekly. Janimry 7. 1961' instead she has become the Forgotten Woman .Snris hnvn givini vvny to wbitn filacka as tha Bogum .s/roJl.s unnoticed through a street in St. T'ropez.
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