Jordan celebrates royal wedding of Crown Prince Hussein

World Thursday 01/June/2023 20:59 PM
By: DW
Jordan celebrates royal wedding of Crown Prince Hussein

Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah and Saudi Arabia's Rajwa Alseif tied the knot during ceremonies in the Jordanian capital Amman on Thursday.

Prominent royals and political dignitaries from around the world took part, including Britain's Prince William and Princess Kate, as well as US First Lady Jill Biden and US climate envoy John Kerry.

The royal wedding is being celebrated across the kingdom, with the palace declaring a public holiday and arranging an array of celebrations and concerts.

Analysts view the royal wedding as a way for Jordan's royals to project stability following a 2021 palace feud and as the country struggles with economic issues and unemployment.

The 28-year-old Crown Prince Hussein is a captain in Jordan's army, having previously graduated from Georgetown University in the US.

He's gained recognition on the international stage by speaking at the UN General Assembly. He will succeed his father, King Abdullah II, in ruling the country after his uncle Hamzah was stripped of the crown prince title.

His parents, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania married in the same palace where Thursday's nuptials are taking place some 30 years ago. Ahead of the wedding, Jordan's palace posted pictures of Hussein and his father at a dinner banquet.

The crown prince is marrying Saudi Arabia's Rajwa Alseif — a 29-year-old who comes from the same maternal family as Saudi King Salman. Her billionaire father owns a construction company in Saudi Arabia.

Rajwa studied at the Syracuse University School of Architecture in the US state of New York. She then moved to Los Angeles and worked at an architecture firm while also earning a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

She is an avid equestrian, and is passionate about riding, often pictured with horses on social media and in magazine photoshoots.

On Thursday afternoon, the marriage ceremony will take place at Zahran Palace in the capital Amman. The couple will sign a marriage contract at the palace in front of a high-profile guest list.

Following the ceremony, the couple will take part in a procession to another palace for their dinner reception.

Crowds are expected for the wedding procession, where the newlyweds will wave from a motorcade of red Land Rover jeeps.

The red-hued procession is a nod to a tradition started during the reign of the country's founder King Abdullah I, where processions consisted of horse riders wearing red coats.

The palace has also released official social media tags for celebrating the wedding, as well as an official logo for the occasion, which translates to "we celebrate."

The wedding comes at a time when Jordan is experiencing economic difficulties and grappling with high youth unemployment. The wedding could also serve to shore up an ally in oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

"Of course, it's joyful," a 25-year-old bookseller who decorated his shop for the festivities told the Associated Press. "But in a couple days, we'll just go back to our problems."

It also comes after a major political crisis in 2021, when King Abdullah II's half-brother and former crown prince Hamzah was accused of being involved in a coup attempt. Hamzah never faced trial.