Mansel, Philip. "The Rise and Fall of Royal Alexandria: From Mohammed Ali to Farouk." In The Court Historian: The International Journal of Court Studies Volume 17, Issue 2 (pp. 225-242). London: Society for Court Studies, 2012.
The exceptional growth of Alexandria in the nineteenth century stemmed from the desire of the Ottoman governor, Mohammed Ali Pasha, for a great trading port to link Egypt and Europe; his ambition to create an Egyptian navy in order to conquer other Ottoman provinces; and his personal love of the city, where his doctors encouraged him to bathe in the sea. Thereafter Alexandria remained the summer capital of Egypt. In order to escape the heat of Cairo, the court, the government and foreign diplomats moved there every June for three or four months.
In July 1882, the presence in Alexandria of the Khedive Tewfik facilitated his alliance with Britain against an Egyptian nationalist movement, legitimising the British occupation of Egypt which would last until 1956. In July 1952, the presence of King Farouk and his ministers in Alexandria facilitated Nasser’s coup in Cairo. King Farouk departed for exile from Ras el-tine, the palace built by Mohammed Ali Pasha, the founder of his dynasty. It was the end of Alexandria’s role as the second capital of Egypt.
The essay is available at Maney Online for download here.