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Jordan's crown prince weds in glittering ceremony

Jordan's crown prince has married the scion of a prominent Saudi family in a palace celebration attended by royals and other VIPs from around the world.

Jordan's Prince Hussein married Saudi architect Rajwa Al Saif in a ceremony at Amman's Zahran palace. Image Instagram Queen Rania

The heir to Jordan's throne has married amid much fanfare in a glittering ceremony the country's leaders hope will reinforce local and global alliances.

The 28-year-old Prince Hussein, named as heir by his father King Abdullah in 2009, tied the knot on Thursday with Saudi architect Rajwa Al Saif, 29, who hails from a prominent family with links to her own country's ruling dynasty.

Jordan has relied on Western support to shore up its economy, one of the world's biggest per capita recipients of US and European aid, and observers hope the wedding will also bring it closer to the regional powerhouse on its southern border.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was expected to come, did not attend, Jordanian officials said. 

But the banquet tables were studded with European and Asian royalty and senior US figures too, including First Lady Jill Biden and Britain's Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate.

In recent years, Hussein, a US-educated graduate of Georgetown and a Sandhurst officer, has increasingly taken on the duties of a future king in the country of 11 million, rubbing shoulders with world leaders including US President Joe Biden.

In line with the customs of the Hashemite family, who claim descent from the Prophet Mohammed and ruled Mecca for centuries, the public ceremonies began as Hussein and his bride tied the knot in Amman's Zahran palace.

The bride, wearing an elegant white dress by Lebanese designer Elie Saab, arrived at Zahran Palace in a 1968 Rolls-Royce Phantom V custom-made for the crown prince's late great grandmother. 

The crown prince arrived earlier in full ceremonial military uniform with a gold-hilted sabre.

The families and their guests gathered in an open-air gazebo decked with flowers and surrounded by landscaped gardens for a traditional Muslim wedding ceremony. 

The crowd erupted in applause after the signing of the marriage contract. Al Saif will henceforth be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Rajwa Al Hussein, according to a royal decree.

Tens of thousands of cheering Jordanians lined the streets as the bride and groom rode in an open-top white Range Rover through the city to Al Husseiniya Palace for a state banquet with hundreds of guests.

The celebrations were capped with a fireworks display that could be seen across the capital.

With AP


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