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The Shah of Iran's wife, Farah Pahlavi, still divides her time between Paris and Washington DC, while Imelda Marcos fled to Hawaii to plot her eventually successful return to Filipino politics.
More recently, Saudi Arabia has become something of a favoured destination for strongmen of the Muslim world.
According to reports this week, the 53-year-old daughter of a fruit seller, who rose to become the country's most powerful woman, organised the removal of more than £37.5m worth of solid gold bars from Tunisia's Central Bank before she fled via Dubai to Saudi Arabia.
Bank officials have denied the allegations, but the reports came as little surprise to ordinary Tunisians on the streets, who compared the Trabelsi and Ben Ali families to mafia-like organisations that squirrelled away vast amounts of the nation's wealth in preparation for a life of luxurious exile.
Michele Bennett The sophisticated Bennett married Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1980 with a wedding that reputedly cost m.
In Haiti, the Duvalier regime used fear and repression through the Tonton Macoute secret police and plundered millions that were transferred to European bank accounts.
Begum Sehba Musharraf Begum Sehba Musharraf spent much of the latter part of her husband’s reign receiving female dignitaries from Laura Bush to Princess Rania of Jordan.
Leila Trabelsi, Mr Ben Ali's second wife, was clearly well prepared.
Successful applicants may have to spend their lives with some of the world's most unpleasant men, but in return, she can expect palaces, power and sumptuous living standards – even when things go wrong.
With careful risk management by a dictator (a private jet on permanent standby and a healthy stash of bullion in offshore bank accounts are recommended), the threat posed by revolution and overnight ousting can be mitigated to acceptable levels.
But wannabe WODs – Wives of Dictators – should be aware that there is always a small chance of the starving masses bashing down the palace gates and demanding a piece of the national pie, and should also plan their metamorphosis into Wodds – Wives of Deposed Dictators.
The toppling last week of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's 24-year reign is a sharp reminder to the world's dictators that nothing lasts forever.