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Royal Weddings: King Abdullah II and Queen Rania

On 10 June 1993, then-Prince Abdullah married Rania al Yassin in a traditional Muslim ceremony in Amman. The 31-year-old Prince and his 22-year-old fiancé had only been dating for a few months, after meeting at a dinner party in August of 1992, when they became engaged in January 1993. Abdullah would tell People Magazine a few years later that “It was love at first sight.” What neither knew at the time was that they would become the King and Queen of Jordan a few years later.

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Rania wore a custom Bruce Oldfield wedding gown, and according to the Royal Order of Splendor, he drew inspiration from “the embellishments on Syrian formal dresses exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.” Rania wore a simple hairband instead of a tiara, as well. She wore another custom dress by the designer for the reception. Abdullah wore his military uniform.

She arrived at Zahran Palace in the centre of Amman in a vintage car alongside her soon-to-be brother-in-law and later said, “When my brother-in-law, Prince Faisal, picked me up in a vintage car, its ceiling was so low, and my hair was so high, my head jammed and I couldn’t move my neck.”

Royals from all over the world flew into Jordan to attend the nuptials, and over 2000 guests were invited to the celebrations. Those in attendance included Queen Sofía of Spain, then-Crown Prince Mohammed of Morocco and Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum of Dubai.

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After the ceremony, the couple rode in a vintage 1961 Lincoln convertible through the streets waving to the assembled crowds. The reception was held in the gardens of Raghadan Palace, and they would have a multi-tiered wedding cake that was decorated with small crowns which they cut together with a sword. The sword was given to them to cut with after Abdullah’s former parachute instructor, Samih Jankat parachuted into the palace grounds at sunset.

When the official reception concluded, close family and friends travelled to Abdullah’s mother, Princess Muna’s home for dinner and private celebrations. The next morning the Prince and Princess boarded a plane for the United States where they would spend their honeymoon. King Hussein had given them first class tickets to San Francisco as a wedding present.

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At the time of their marriage, Abdullah was not the Crown Prince of Jordan. Instead, it was his uncle, Hassan. Abdullah’s father, King Hussein did not name him as his heir until right before his death in 1999. Abdullah became King of Jordan on 7 February 1999 and named Rania as Queen on 22 March.

King Abdullah and Queen Rania have four children: Crown Prince Hussein (b. 1994), Princess Iman (b. 1996), Princess Salma (b. 2000) and Prince Hashem (b. 2005).

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