Everything we know about Jordan’s royal wedding attended by Prince William and Kate

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrived on Thursday at the royal wedding of Jordan’s Crown Prince Al Hussein and Saudi Arabian architect Rajwa Al Saif.

On 1 June, King Abdullah’s eldest son Crown Prince Al Hussein, 28, married Rajwa Al Saif, 29, the youngest daughter of Saudi businessman Khaled Al Saif. The wedding ceremony took place at Zahran Palace in downtown Amman in Jordan, followed by a motorcade of Land Rovers and a free concert to celebrate the nuptials.

Prince William, 40, and Kate, 41, were among the many star-studded guests attending Jordan’s first royal wedding in years. William and Kate’s arrival at the wedding came as a surprise to many; their attendance was confirmed by Jordanian state media just hours before the wedding was due to take place. Though, the trip to Jordan has a particularly special link for the British royal family.

Both William and Crown Prince Hussein are graduates of Britain’s Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst. The two spent time together when the crown prince hosted William during his 2018 trip to Jordan. During the visit, William and Hussein were pictured watching the 2018 England vs Panama World Cup game at the Beit Al Urdun Palace.

Meanwhile, Kate Middleton lived in Jordan for three years as a child, when her father worked for British Airways. The couple took their children on a family holiday to Jordan in 2021, and released a photograph of their visit as their family Christmas card that year.

In addition to the British royals, first lady Jill Biden and US climate envoy John Kerry confirmed their attendance at the royal wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif. Many of the European royals who visited the United Kingdom for the coronation of King Charles III last month will also be celebrating the Jordanian royal wedding, including King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.

The marriage of Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif is also a strong union between Western-allied Jordan and oil-rich Saudi Arabia. The couple were formally engaged in August 2022 at the home of Rajwa’s parents – Khalid Al Saif and Azza Al Sudairi – in Saudi Arabia. Both Hussein’s parents, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, were in attendance.

According to the Associated Press, Rajwa comes with royal connections of her own. She was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 28 April 1994. Her father, Khalid, is a member of the Subai – a prominent tribe in the Arabian Peninsula with ancient roots. He’s also the founder of El Seif Engineering Contracting, which has built many high-rises across the Middle East.

Her mother is related to Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi, one of the wives of King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia with whom she had seven sons and four daughters. Two of her sons became future Saudi kings, while her other sons later served as crown prince.

Rajwa studied architecture at Syracuse University in New York, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2017. She went on to earn a degree in visual communications from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Hussein is the eldest son of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania. He was formally named heir to the throne at 15 years old, and is named after his grandfather, King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for 46 years until his death in 1999.

He graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in international history in 2016 and from the British Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst the following year. In 2015, he became the youngest person to chair a meeting at the United Nations Security Council, and addressed the UN General Assembly two years later.

Ahead of the royal wedding, Queen Rania hosted a henna party last week for her future daughter-in-law at the Madareb Bani Hashem surrounded by hundreds of women. She shared photos from the opulent event on social media, writing: “No celebration would be complete without our Jordanian family. Celebrating our beautiful Rajwa.”

Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif officially tied the knot in an Islamic marriage ceremony known as a “katb al-kitab” at the Zahran Palace. The intimate ceremony was attended by around 140 guests, including King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, followed by a reception at Al Husseiniya Palace with over 1,700 guests.

The bride arrived at the palace in a custom 1968 Rolls-Royce Phantom alongside the prince’s siblings Princess Iman, Princess Salma, and Prince Hashem. She wore a white long-sleeved Elie Saab gown with an asymmetrical neckline and a long, flowing train. Rajwa was escorted by Hashem, 18, to the green garden gazebo where the ceremony took place.

Following the royal wedding, the Royal Hashemite Court shared a statement on social media: “Royal Decree was issued to bestow the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Rajwa Al Hussein on Miss Rajwa Khalid Alseif, on the occasion of her marriage to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein.”