Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images
People pray Tuesday around the coffin of Neslisah Osmanoglu, last in line to the dynasty that once ruled the Ottoman empire, who died a day earlier at the age of 91. She was buried at Yildiz imperial palace in Istanbul.
Princess Neslisah Osmanoglu, the oldest member of the Ottoman dynasty, has died at age 91.
Also known as Neslisah Sultan, the princess married an Egyptian prince and was twice forced into exile when both royal households were abolished.
She died in Istanbul on Monday, according to her nephew, Abdulhamid Kayihan Osmanoglu, and her funeral was Tuesday at Yildiz imperial palace, the London Daily Mail reported.
This undated photo by Milliyet newspaper shows Neslisah Osmanoglu in Turkey.
Her nephew did not give a cause of death but The Associated Press, citing later reports, said it was a heart attack.
Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the late princess.
“She was the poster-child for nobleness who carried the blood of Osman,” he said in Parliament, referring to Osman I, the Anatolian ruler who established the Ottoman Empire in 1299. “We remember her with high regard and our blessings.”
The princess took the surname Osmanoglu, or son of Osman, along with other surviving members of the dynasty.
Neslisah Osmanoglu was born in Istanbul on Feb. 4, 1921, two years before the Turkish Republic replaced the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled Turkey, parts of the Middle East and eastern Europe for 600 years.
Her grandfather, the last Ottoman Sultan Vahdettin, and all other members of the dynasty were sent into exile in 1924. The princess spent her childhood and adolescence in Nice, France, before moving to Egypt, the Daily Mail said.
“When we were in exile we lived longing for the country,” she told historian Murat Bardakci, whose biography of the princess was published last year. “My mother had friends who would go to Istanbul. I would ask them to bring me back a bit of soil from Istanbul, but none did.”
Ottoman princesses were traditionally married to members of Muslim royal families, The Associated Press said.
In 1940, Neslisah Osmanoglu married Egyptian Prince Muhammed Abdel Monem, who headed a regency committee that ruled from July 1952 to June 1953.
When new rulers of Egypt turned the country into a republic, the royal couple were accused of plotting against Gamal Abdel Nasser’s government and placed under house arrest. They were acquitted and exiled, moving to France.
In 1952, the Turkish government had allowed female members of the Ottoman family to return to Turkey, so the prince and princess moved to Istanbul in 1957, the Daily Mail said.
Prince Monem, born in 1899, died in Istanbul in 1979.
Neslisah Osmanoglu is survived by a son, daughter and a grandson.
This article includes reporting by The Associated Press.
More from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Britain faces calls to ban Syria Olympic chief from London Games
- All hope 'annihilated,' retiree kills himself outside Greek parliament
- Surprises along Tel Aviv's beach
- Muslim Brotherhood shocks Egypt with presidential run
- 615 dead dolphins found on Peru beaches; acoustic tests for oil to blame?
- Chinese artist Ai Weiwei sets up live webcams at his home
Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world