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Jordan

The last Jordanian royal wedding

The last Jordanian royal wedding was a small, intimate affair in the midst of the pandemic.

In summer 2020, Princess Raiyah, King Abdullah’s younger half-sister, married Ned Donovan, the grandson of famed British author Roald Dahl and American actress Patricia Neal.

Their wedding had been planned to take place in Jordan in April 2020, but the pandemic put that on hold. King Abdullah gave his sister permission to marry in the United Kingdom, and the pair exchanged vows on 7 July 2020 in a small ceremony in line with all COVID-19 protocols and lockdown regulations at the time.

In attendance were the bride’s mother, Queen Noor and the Donovan family. The Jordanian Ambassador to the UK, Omar Nahar, also attended the short outdoor ceremony at Queen Noor’s Buckhurst Park estate in Windsor.

Only four people were allowed at the ceremony, excluding the couple, and no food or drink was allowed to be consumed in line with health regulations at the time.

Princess Raiyah wore a modern-looking diamond headpiece for the ceremony that featured a sapphire from a brooch that once belonged to her mother. Her gown was made of lace and long-sleeved. It had intricate floral beading and a floor-length veil.

Photos were later released of the nuptials.

After the wedding, Raiyah said on Twitter, “Thank you all for your kind messages on our wedding! While it was originally planned for April in Jordan, the pandemic derailed those plans and it was safer for my husband’s family to hold it in the UK. God willing we look forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows.”

The Princess and Mr Donovan became engaged on 26 October 2019.

Princess Raiyah is the youngest child of the late King Hussein and Queen Noor. She was born in Amman on 9 February 1986. She has two older half-brothers, Princes Hamzah and Hashem, and one older sister, Princess Iman. She has five older half-sisters and three older half-brothers, including King Abdullah.

The Jordanian Royal Family has many branches and is naturally quite large. For purposes of this article, we looked at the main line in the Jordanian Royal Family – those direct descendants of King Abdullah and his siblings.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.