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Joan Viscountess Camrose, mother of Aga Khan, dies

April 29, 1997

LONDON (AP) _ Joan Viscountess Camrose, mother of the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims, has died at age 89.

A death notice said the widow of the 2nd Viscount Camrose died Friday at home. The cause of her death was not given.

Born Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller, the daughter of an actress and the 3rd Lord Churston, she married well three times: first to a member of the Guinness brewing family, then to Prince Aly Khan, and finally to Lord Camrose.

Her first marriage, to Loel Guinness, ended in divorce in 1936. She then married Aly Khan, son of the immensely rich Aga Khan III.

Of his decision to marry her, Aly Khan said: ``Joan was a sane and solid girl, and I thought if I married her, I would stay out of trouble.″

The couple had two sons, princes Karim and Amyn. Karim was chosen to succeed his grandfather as Aga Khan IV in 1957.

Aly Khan had by that time divorced his wife to marry actress Rita Hayworth. But Princess Joan remained on good terms with her father-in-law, and when her son became Aga Khan, she accompanied him to his accession ceremonies in Africa and India.

She became a close companion of Lord Camrose, chairman of the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and acted as hostess at Hackwood Park, his country estate in southern England. After a friendship of more than 30 years, they married in 1986.

Lord Camrose died in 1995. The viscountess’s eldest son, Patrick Guinness, died in 1965. She is survived by her two younger sons, the Aga Khan and Prince Amyn.

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