The Prince and Princess of Wales were beaming as they greeted King Abdullah of Jordan and his wife Queen Rania ahead of their son Crown Prince Hussein‘s lavish wedding to Rajwa Al-Saif today.
In September, it was announced that Sandhurst graduate Hussein, 28, was set to wed Saudi Arabian-born architect Rajwa, also 28, after an engagement ceremony at the bride-to-be’s family home in Riyadh.
Last night, celebrations began when King Abdullah II hosted a dinner for over 4,000 Jordanians, who were served Jordan’s festive national dish Mansaf – lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yoghurt.
And today, guests including Kate Middleton and Prince William and Princess Beatrice appeared overjoyed as they arrived at Zahran Palace for the nuptials.
Kate, who lived in Jordan for a short period during her childhood, led the glamour at the event in a blush pink lace dress by designer Elie Saab.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were beaming as they greeted King Abdullah of Jordan and his wife Queen Rania ahead of their son Crown Prince Hussein ‘s lavish wedding to Rajwa Al-Saif today
Today, Kate Middleton and Prince William appeared overjoyed as they arrived at Zahran Palace for the nuptials today
The mother-of-three offered a curtsey to both King Abdullah and Queen Rania, before the foursome chatted for some time
In September, it was announced that Sandhurst graduate Hussein, 28, was set to wed Saudi Arabian-born architect Rajwa, also 28, after an engagement ceremony at the bride-to-be’s family home in Riyadh (pictured, at their engagement ceremony)
The mother-of-three offered a curtsey to both King Abdullah and Queen Rania, before the foursome chatted for some time.
The attendance of the British royals – who were spotted at a luxury hotel in Amman last night – had been kept under wraps, and was only confirmed by Jordanian state media a few hours before the start of the palace ceremony.
But it’s perhaps hardly surprising Kate and William have made the journey to the Middle East – as both no doubt share a fondness for Jordan.
The country especially holds special memories for the Princess; the Middleton family spent three years there during the early 80s, when Kate was just two years old, after her father Michael, a British Airways manager, was relocated to Amman for work.
Meanwhile Princess Beatrice arrived moments after Kate and William, hand-in-hand with her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
The mother-of-one opted for a stunning silver sequin gown for the occasion.
In a touching nod to the late Queen Elizabeth, the newly married couple are due to depart from the wedding to their reception in a 1984 Range Rover which was specially customised for her visit to the country.
Today, Queen Rania was beautiful in black as she greeted guests at Zahran Palace alongside her husband King Abdullah ahead of the nuptials.
Today has been declared a national holiday, with celebratory events hosted in all 12 of Jordan’s governorates to allow citizens to share in the festivities.
The couple will be married at the Zahran Palace in an ‘elegant and understated religious ceremony’.
US first lady Jill Biden and several members of royal families from around the world have said they will attend, among them the King and Queen of the Netherlands.
The event will begin with the arrival of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, followed by the Crown Prince, who will join guests at a gazebo located in the Palace’s garden, where the ceremony will take place.
Meanwhile Rajwa is to be driven to the Palace in a 1968 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, which was custom-made for the late Queen Zein al-Sharaf, the Crown Prince’s great grandmother.
It was used by King Charles and Queen Camilla (then-Prince and Duchess) to Jordan in November 2021.
The Crown Prince’s younger brother, Prince Hashem will then Rajwa to the gazebo and the Islamic marriage ceremony will begin.
After the ceremony, the couple are set to drive to their reception in the customised Range Rover which was crafted for the late Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the country in 1984.
Meanwhile Princess Beatrice arrived moments after Kate and William, hand-in-hand with her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Kate opted for a neutral makeup look for the event, wearing her hair in loose waves across her shoulders
Kate and William stayed and chatted with the King and Queen for a short while after greeting them at the palace
Prince William leaned in to offer Queen Rania a kiss on the cheek, while Princess Kate curtseyed to the King
Kate and William were beaming as they greeted the royal couple at the palace this afternoon (pictured)
King Abdullah of Jordan and his wife Queen Rania appeared overjoyed as they greeted guests arriving for their son Crown Prince Hussein ‘s lavish wedding
The couple were beaming as they greeted the 140 guests attending the event earlier today, stopping to chat with a number of attendees
Today, Queen Rania was beautiful in black as she greeted guests at Zahran Palace alongside her husband King Abdullah ahead of the nuptials today
Royal guards in a convoy headed towards the Zahran Palace on the day of the royal wedding of Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein
Members of a band played musical instruments during celebrations as they walked through the streets of Ammam
Today has been declared a national holiday, with celebratory events hosted in all 12 of Jordan’s governorates to allow citizens to share in the festivities
During the late Queen’s state visit, which took place in March 1984, the vehicle was used by His Majesty the late King Hussein to drive the Queen and her husband the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, to Petra and other locations in the south.
The custom Range Rover, which has taken on the name of ‘Sheer Rover,’ has been elongated and a cut off roof has been added. New white leather upholstery has also been installed, including four individual ‘Recaro’ electric seats.
The couple will then move to the Al Husseiniya Palace in a motorcade procession for the wedding reception, which will feature a diverse line-up of performers paying tribute to the Crown Prince’s military career, his bride’s Saudi Arabian heritage, and traditional Jordanian artistry.
The wedding reception will be hosted by King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, as well as the bride’s parents, with more than 1,700 guests.
The remainder of the evening features a variety of performances by local and regional singers, a choir group, Jordanian bands, the national orchestra, and folk dance troupes.
The reception concludes with the bride and groom cutting the wedding cake.
Earlier this month, Queen Rania hosted a pre-wedding henna party for Rajwa.
The queen shared a number of photographs on Instagram showing her celebrating with the bride-to-be at the traditional party.
She wrote: ‘No celebration would be complete without our Jordanian family. Celebrating our beautiful Rajwa!’
The guests included Rania’s daughters Princess Iman bint Abdullah II and Princess Salma bint Abdullah II, as well as members of the Al-Saif family and women from across the kingdom.
During the late Queen’s state visit, which took place in March 1984, the vehicle was used by His Majesty the late King Hussein to drive the Queen and her husband the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, to Petra and other locations in the south
The party featured performances of traditional Jordanian and Saudi songs by local artists Nedaa Shrara, Diana Karazon, and Zain Awad, as well as performances by Haleem Musical Group, Al Salt Girls Band, and Misk Dance Company.
It also included a zaffeh – or grand entrance – for the bride-to-be, and henna drawing for guests.
Welcoming her guests, Rania said, ‘I’m so happy that you could all be here to celebrate with us.
‘Today is a special day for us, and to our entire Jordanian family. Our joy is one and the same… near or far, you are all in our hearts today.’
She explained that like any mother, she has always dreamed of Crown Prince Hussein’s wedding.
‘Al Hussein is your son as much as he is mine – you are his family and this is your celebration,’ she added.
Sharing a few words about her future daughter-in-law, the Queen described Rajwa as ‘the sweetest and most beautiful bride-to-be’, adding that she is as precious to her as her daughters Princesses Iman and Salma.
‘I’ll never forget how happy His Majesty and I were when Al Hussein told us he wanted to marry Rajwa. She is the perfect answer to all my prayers for him,’ The Queen reflected, before wishing the couple a blessed and happy future.
‘May you always be each other’s source of happiness and support,’ she said.
The queen also noted that a daughter is usually a reflection of her mother, referring to the Crown Prince’s future mother-in-law by her first name, Azza, whom she described as a ‘gem’.
Addressing Azza bint Naif Al-Sudairi, Rania explained that two months ago, right before Princess Iman’s wedding, she realised how Rajwa’s mother must be feeling now.
But she reassured her that ‘we and Al Hussein will take the very best care of Rajwa. This is her country, and she is among her family and her people.’
The queen added: ‘As mothers, the one thing we truly want is to make sure that our children are happy.
‘We often ask ourselves whether we did the best we can to raise our children. During His Majesty the late King Hussein’s final days and before his passing, I made him a promise to raise Al Hussein the way he wanted him to be raised.’
Describing the Crown Prince as a brave, confident, and strong soldier, she likened him to his father, King Abdullah, admiring how he treats his bride, and his desire to see Jordanians not only coming together to join their wedding celebrations, but also be involved in its preparations.
‘That’s when I realized that he is a true, self-aware Hashemite, who is both a part of you, and here to serve you,’ she said.
Referring once again to the anecdote she shared about the late King Hussein, the queen said: ‘I can now tell His Majesty the late King Hussein that I was true to my word.’
She concluded by thanking and welcoming her guests, she added: ‘Congratulations to us all, this is your celebration, just as it is ours.’
Rajwa received a degree from Syracuse University in New York, and studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles after completing her secondary education in Saudi Arabia.
She has worked at an architecture firm in Los Angeles and currently works at the Designlab Experience studio in Riyadh.
She is the youngest daughter of Khaled M. Al-Saif and Azza bint Naif Al-Sudairi.
Mr Al-Saif is CEO of the Al Saif Group, a privately company with a diverse portfolio of businesses across healthcare, construction and security services, and is a board member of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, which promotes trade between the two countries.
Crown Prince Hussein, the eldest of King Abdullah and Queen Rania’s four children, is a graduate of prestigious Georgetown University in Washington DC, and served in the Army after graduating from Sandhurst in 2017.
In 2015 he made history as the youngest person to chair a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
He made headlines last year when he hosted Prince William on a visit to the Middle East.