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European RoyalsJordan

A surprise royal wedding lights up Amman

On Saturday, as a total surprise, the Royal Hashemite Court released a statement announcing the wedding of Prince Ghazi and Princess Miriam. 

The ceremony was held on Saturday, 3 September, in what looks like one of Amman’s royal palaces, in the presence of King Abdullah II, Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Prince Talal bin Muhammad. 

Prince Ghazi is a cousin to King Abdullah and serves as his personal adviser on religious and cultural affairs, given his PhD in Medieval literature from Cambridge University. He has also acted as regent in the past. 

Princess Miriam was born Doña Miriam Ungría y López in Madrid, and in 1996, she married Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, with whom she had two sons, Prince Boris and Prince Beltrán. 

In August of 2008, the couple was in a serious motor vehicle accident in Madrid; Princess Miriam survived and recovered, but tragically Prince Kardam passed away in 2015, after spending almost seven years in a coma due mainly to the traumatic brain injury he experienced. 

A day before the wedding, on Friday, 2 September, Princess Miriam and her sons visited the memorial that her new country created along the Jordan River to commemorate Prince Kardam. The date also coincided with the Princess’s 59th birthday. 

Prince Ghazi was born in 1966 and conducted most of his education in the United Kingdom. In 1997, he married Princess Areej, and the couple had four children: Princess Tasneem, Prince Abdullah, Princess Jennah, and Princess Salsabeel – the latter was born 11 years after the couple’s third child. 

In 2021, the Royal Hashemite Court announced a title change for Princess Areej, a move that usually indicates a divorce. She went from being Princess Areej Ghazi to being Princess Areej bint Omar Al Zawawi, essentially reverting her back to her maiden name but with a Princess title. 

This wedding came as a complete surprise to many royal watchers, not only because of the difference in religious beliefs (Princess Miriam was born a Roman Catholic and only converted to the Orthodox faith after the accident, while prince Ghazi is Muslim), but also because they had never been seen together at any events.