Jordan crown prince marries Saudi fiancee in royal ceremony
Cairo [Egypt], June 2: Jordan celebrated its biggest royal wedding in decades on Thursday, as Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah and his Saudi fiancee Rajwa al-Seif got married.
The Islamic marriage ceremony took place in the garden of Zahran palace in Amman, which had also seen the wedding of Hussein's parents, King Abdullah and Queen Rania, 30 years ago.
Rajwa wore a long-sleeved white dress, with a tiara and long train, while Hussein wore a ceremonial military uniform, similar to the one his father wore in his own wedding.
Shortly afterwards, a royal decree was issued to bestow on the bride the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Rajwa al-Hussein.
Royals and dignitaries from all over the world attended the ceremony, including Britain's Prince William and his wife, Princess of Wales Kate Middleton, US First Lady Jill Biden, Malaysia's King Abdullah, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Belgium's King Philippe.
Jordanians took to the streets to enjoy the public celebrations held across the kingdom. The government declared Thursday a public holiday.
Many gathered in different areas enjoying music and dancing while carrying Jordanian flags. Others carried Saudi flags.
Others have lined the streets in Amman to catch a glimpse of the royal procession of red vehicles, which took the newly-weds to another palace for the dinner reception.
The highly anticipated ceremony comes as a sign of stability for Jordan and a chance to rally people around the future king, after a 2021 palace feud described as the most serious political crisis in Jordan since Abdullah took power.
The king's half-brother and former crown prince Hamzah was accused of being involved in an alleged coup attempt. Two prominent Jordanians were jailed for their role in the alleged plot, however, Hamzah, never faced trial.
Jordan blamed "foreign parties" for involvement in the plot, but reports suggested Saudi involvement as the two men jailed had links to Saudi Arabia.
Therefore, the marriage is seen as a step to solidify relations between the two countries and their rulers.
Hussein, born on June 28, 1994, is a captain in the Jordanian army.
He was named crown prince in 2009, five years after Abdullah stripped his half-brother Hamzah of the title.
Riyadh-born Rajwa, 29, has a degree in architecture and likes horse riding. Her father, Khaled, is a businessman.
She has royal links through her mother Azza al-Sudairi, who comes from the same maternal family of Saudi King Salman.
"I met Rajwa through a friend from school," Hussein said at a recent conference in Jordan.
"I consider myself lucky because you do not meet someone like Rajwa every day," he added, while she was sitting among the audience.
Social media users have highlighted a resemblance between the bride and Queen Rania.
At a dinner henna party last week, Rania said Rajwa was "the perfect answer to all [her] prayers."
The engagement took place in August with a family gathering at Rajwa's home in Saudi Arabia.
Since 2017, Hussein has been appearing more intensely on the international stage and accompanied his father on the majority of his official engagements. He is named after his grandfather, who died in 1999, but remains popular and respected in the Hashemite Kingdom.
Hussein is the oldest of Abdullah and Rania's four children. His sister, Iman, got married in March.
Jordan is a mostly desert-covered US ally that has maintained relative calm while surrounded by several conflicts for decades. These have led to an influx of refugees which in turn has put pressure on the country's economy. The kingdom is largely dependent on foreign aid.
Source: Qatar Tribune