Death and state funeral of King Hussein
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The state funeral of King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan took place in Amman, Jordan on 8 February 1999. He was pronounced dead on 7 February 1999 at 11:43 AM at the King Hussein Medical Center. The funeral was the largest gathering of royalty and world leaders since 1995.
Death and state funeral of King Hussein
DateDeath on 7 February 1999
Funeral on 8 February 1999
LocationAmman, Jordan
ParticipantsBill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Yasser Arafat, Tony Blair, Hosni Mubarak, Hafez al-Assad, Nawaz Sharif and many other foreign dignitaries.
Royal Jordanian 1 is escorted on 4 February 1999 by an F-16 of the Minnesota Air National Guard during King Hussein's return to Jordan. He died 3 days later.
It was made public that King Hussein was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in July 1998. Hussein's lymphoma was of a type that responded to chemotherapy, which the King had already begun and his physicians were optimistic he could be cured.
On his way back to Jordan in January 1999 after six months of treatment in the US, Hussein stopped in London.[1] Doctors advised him to rest and stay in England for a few weeks, as he was still too fragile to travel. According to Jordanian government sources, Hussein stated that:
“I need very much to feel the warmth of my people around me, there is work to be done and I will get the strength from my people to finish the business.“[2]
Upon returning to Jordan, Hussein was greeted by family members, ministers, parliament members, foreign dignitaries and a crowd of Jordanian citizens, estimated by Jordanian government officials of 2 million. He spent just six days in Jordan, before being rushed back to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on 25 January 1999, after a relapse. He abruptly returned for further treatment undergoing a failed bone marrow transplant.[3]
Doctors at his US clinic said that the king suffered internal organ failure following an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant, "The king is in agony. He is being kept alive by artificial means. There is no more hope," an official told the Agence France-Presse news agency.
The king had returned home critically ill after the failure of his latest cancer treatment. Upon arrival he was immediately taken by helicopter to an intensive care unit at the King Hussein Medical Center, west of Amman. He was later reported to be in a coma and on a life support machine after his organs failed. Outside the King Hussein Medical Center, wails of grief rose up in a crowd of Jordanians who had maintained a vigil there since the king's return. Men wearing the Keffiyeh checkered headdresses favored by Jordanians wrapped their scarves across their faces in a sign of mourning.
The palace sources said King Hussein's family had decided not to switch off his life support machine, preferring to let him die naturally. Jordanian television said in a news bulletin on Friday (5 February 1999) night that King Hussein was still under intensive care. The TV announcers are wearing black and the station is broadcasting programmes about the king's life.
King Hussein's heart stopped on 7 February 1999 at 11:43 am. Queen Noor and four of his five sons were at his side. His eldest son, Abdullah, who was recently named Crown Prince on 24 January 1999, was called to the hospital and, after his arrival, the king was removed from the respirator and pronounced dead.[4]
The death of King Hussein was announced in the local Arabic TV by a presenter "Believing in God's will and with deep sorrow, the cabinet tells the Jordanian people and all our brothers in the Muslim world, and all our friends around the world, of the death of the dearest among men, His Hashemite Majesty, King Hussein Bin Talal the Great, king of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, dean of the House of the Prophet, whom God has chosen to be next to him and who passed to heaven at 11:43. The cabinet asks that God will be compassionate with His Majesty and that He will give him a place among those He loves. Verily we belong to God, and to God we return.
Throne succession
A few hours after Hussein's death was announced, Abdullah went before a hastily called session of the National Assembly. Wearing a traditional red-and-white-checked Keffiyeh, a stoic Abdullah strode into the chamber to subdued applause from senators and congressmen, some of whom wept. King Hussein's two siblings, Prince Hassan and ailing older brother Prince Mohammed, preceded Abdullah. The heir stood straight in front of a portrait of Hussein, hands tightly clenched at his sides in an at-attention salute that drew more applause. King Abdullah II then recited the oath his father took nearly five decades earlier; "I swear by Almighty God to uphold the constitution and be faithful to the nation".
Zaid al-Rifai, speaker of the House of Notables (Senate), opened the session with Al-Fatiha, a prayer for the dead. His voice cracked with emotion as he led the recitation. "God save his majesty," "God give him advice and take care of him."[5]
Crowds of people waiting for royal motorcade carrying King Hussein's coffin.
Mourners line up along Zahran street in Amman on 8 February 1999 as royal motorcade transports King's coffin.
Mourners on Zahran street hold up portrait of King Hussein
The flag-draped coffin carrying the body of King Hussein accompanied by honor guard troops wearing Keffiyeh were taken on a 90-minute procession through the streets of the capital city of Amman. An estimated 800,000 Jordanians, many of them weeping, braved chilly winds to bid their leader farewell. Riot police were stationed along the nine-mile-long route to try to hold back the crowds who scrambled for a glimpse of the coffin.
Upon arrival at Raghadan Palace, the new king, Hussein's eldest son, Abdullah, and the royal princes formally received the coffin. Queen Noor stood in a doorway surrounded by other royal women dressed in mourning black with white scarves.
In a courtyard of Raghdan Palace, so many leaders and dignitaries flocked to Jordan to pay their last respects, Inside, where the late king lay in state, surrounded by four Circassian guards in lamb's wool hats and black coats, the dignitaries entered the room one by one to pause before his coffin, each according to his traditions. Bagpipes played as the casket was taken from the palace to a mosque on an artillery carriage. A riderless white stallion with a pair of empty boots reversed in its stirrups favored by the king trotted behind. Prayers at the mosque were attended only by Muslims, while many of the world leaders waited outside. At the royal cemetery beneath a green canopy, Hussein's body, dressed in a simple white shroud, was removed from the coffin and placed in a grave near those of King Hussein's father, Talal, and his grandfather, Abdullah I. The new king carefully laid his father's face to one side in rest and passages from the Quran were read. Finally trumpets sounded the Last Post and a military bugler played. Attending guards fired a salute. The new king kept a stern face, although relatives around him wept. Queen Noor watched from the gates of the cemetery as the king was buried.[6]
On the date of his death on 7 February 1999, King Hussein was the longest-serving executive head of state in the world.[7]
Hundreds of dignitaries attended the funeral in the largest gathering of world leaders since the 1995 funeral of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.[8] At least 60 heads of state and government and 15 former leaders were presented, as well as about 100 governmental representatives and some multilateral leaders. 6 organizations and more than 120 countries were represented. American president Bill Clinton represented the country along with former presidents George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Also presented was the president of the Arab League, Samir Hosny. Hamas was present with a delegation of several representatives, led by its leader, Khalid Meshaal. The Czech president Václav Havel and the Russian president Boris Yeltsin, attended despite being unwell. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, his wife Nane Maria Annan and UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura attended the funeral along with many of their colleagues such as European Union's Jacques Santer, NATO's Javier Solana, IMF's Michel Camdessus and African Union's Salim Ahmed Salim. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led the country's delegation, including Chief Rabbi Yesrael Lau and a representative of the families of seven teenage girls killed by a Jordanian soldier in 1997. Egypt was represented by leading political figures, including Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and prime minister Kamal Ganzouri.
The funeral also brought together enemies, including the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Nayef Hawatmeh, who approached the Israeli president Ezer Weizman, praised him as a man of peace and shook his hand. It was the first time that Syrian president Hafez al-Assad (Who died a year later) and Benjamin Netanyahu were together in the same place, though they did not meet.[9]
Other dignitaries included: Iraqi vice-president Taha Marouf, Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, King Albert II of Belgium, Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain (who died less than a month later), Khalifa ibn Salman Al Khalifa (the prime minister of Bahrain), Ahmed Abdel Megid, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, William Hague, British prime minister Tony Blair and his predecessors Margaret Thatcher and John Major, Paddy Ashdown, Indian vice president Krishan Kant, Israel politicians Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, Leah Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Barak, Yitzhak Mordechai, Efraim Halevy, Salah Tarif, Sheikh Mowafak Tarif, Yisrael Meir Lau, Taleb el-Sana, Abdulmalik Dehamshe, Ahmad Tibi, Liamine Zéroual, Austrian president Thomas Klestil, Icelandic prime minister David Oddsson, Bulgaria deputy premier Veselin Metodiev, Estonian leader Arnold Rüütel, Bosnian president Haris Silajdžić, Cypriot president Glafcos Klerides, Ioannis Kasoulidis, Prince Henrik of Denmark and prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Aga Khan IV, French president Jacques Chirac, Bernard Kouchner, German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Greek president Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, King Constantine II of Greece, Irish president Mary McAleese, Michael Woods, Crown Prince Jasim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar, Italian president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, Japanese prime minister Keizō Obuchi, Chinese premier Zhu Rongji, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah of Kuwait, Michel Murr, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, Liechtenstein prime minister Otmar Hasler, Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg, Jacques Poos, Maltese president Guido de Marco, Hamed Karoui, Sultan Qaboos of Oman, Yusuf bin Alawi, Badr Al Busaidi, Farouk al-Sharaa, Abdul Halim Khaddam, Yaser Arafat, Palestine leader Mahmoud Abbas, Ahmed Qurei, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Khaled Mashal, Sudan president Omar al-Bashir, Mustafa Osman, Ghazi Al Atabani, Lam Akol, Swar Al Dahab, Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio, Rwandese president Paul Kagame, Hans van den Broek, Igor Ivanov, Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Felipe, Prince of Asturias, Infanta Elena of Spain, Infanta Cristina of Spain, Spanish premier Jose Maria Aznar, Ali Saleh, World Bank president James Wolfensohn, Crown Prince Mohammed of Morocco, Ben Gilman, David Bonior, Ted Stevens, Patrick Leahy, Sandy Berger, Dennis Ross, Thomas Pickering, Martin Indyk, Najeeb Halaby, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Swedish State minister Carl Bildt, Turkish president Süleyman Demirel, İsmail Cem, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, Mohammad bin Zayed, Abdullah bin Zayed, Mohammed Bin Kharbash, Netherlands prime minister Wim Kok, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Polish prime minister Bronisław Geremek, Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, Romania president Emil Constantinescu, Andrei Pleşu, Switzerland president Adolf Ogi, Montenegro president Momir Bulatović, South Korean prime minister Kim Jong-pil, North Korean president Kim Yong Nam, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Al-Saadi Gaddafi, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Queen Anak Saleha of Brunei, Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah of Brunei, Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah, Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Ethiopian president Negasso Gidada and Ermias Sahle Selassie, King Harald V of Norway, Jason Hu, Vartan Oskanian, Singaporean prime minister Goh Chok Tong, Nigerian president Abdulsalami Abubakar, Cheikh El Avia, Jackie Stewart, South African president Nelson Mandela and many other leaders.​[10]​[11]​[12]​[13]​[14]​[15]​[16]​[17]​[18]​[19]​[20]​[21]​[22]​[23]
A controversial absence from the funeral was that of Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien. Chretien, who was on a ski vacation, claimed that the short notice of the funeral made it impossible for him to attend.[24] This decision was criticized, especially in regards that the news of Hussein's health was well known, and that he should've adjusted his plans.[25]
Upon her arrival, Queen Sofia of Spain discovered that as a woman, she could not attend the funeral itself. Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State, also could not attend. They were treated as pilgrim travelers, waiting outside of the venue. An exception was made for female heads of state, including Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and President Mary McAleese of Ireland.[26]
International grief
United Nations General Assembly
The UN General Assembly held an Emergency Special Session in "Tribute to the Memory of His Majesty the King of Jordan" on the same day.[48]
Tenth Emergency Special Session
11th plenary meeting
Monday, 8 February 1999, 3.30 p.m.
New York
Didier Opertti (Uruguay) - President
Roland Kpotsra (Togo)
On behalf of the group of African states
Mabilangan (Philippines)
On behalf of the Group of Asian States
Danilo Türk (Slovenia)
On behalf of the Group of Eastern European
Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala)
On behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group
Robert Fowler (Canada)
On behalf of the Group of Western European and Other States
Mohammad Samhan (UAE)
On behalf of the Arab Group
Peter Burleigh (USA)
Dore Gold (Israel)
Nabil el-Araby (Egypt)
Sergey Lavrov (Russia)
Nasser al-Qudwa (Palestine)
Hasan Abu-Nimah (Jordan)
  1. ^ "King to address Jordanians tonight ahead of Tuesday return". Jordanembassyus.org. 16 January 1999. Archived from the original on 31 August 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  2. ^ Mideastnews.com; 8 February 1999
  3. ^ "Highlights of King Hussein's life". CNN. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Middle East King Hussein's family at bedside". BBC News. 6 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Jordan Mourns King as Leaders Gather at Funeral". Los Angeles Times. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ "PBS 8 February 1999 (King Abdullah II)". Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  7. ^ King Abdullah official website (The Hashemites).
  8. ^ Phil Ponce (5 February 1999). "Online NewsHour: King Abdullah -- February 8, 1999". pbs.org. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  9. ^ Jones, Andrew (10 November 2008). Prehistoric Europe: theory and practice (Andrew Jones). ISBN 9781405125970. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ "PBS (Inheriting the Kingdom)". Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Gadsden Times 8 February 1999 (world's leaders mourn King Hussein)". 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  12. ^ "BBC 8 February 1999 (King Hussein laid to rest)". BBC News. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  13. ^ Douglas Jehl (9 February 1999). "Jordan's Hussein Laid to Rest as World Leaders Mourn". New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Jordan Mourns King as Leaders Gather at Funeral". Los Angeles Times. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Leaders Gather in Jordan". LA Times. 7 November 1995. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  16. ^ "The death of King Hussein: World Who's Who At Funeral". The Independent. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Press Conference by the Press Secretary". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 12 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Crown Council of Ethiopia". Ethiopiancrown.org. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  19. ^ Royal News 8 February 1999 Archived 9 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Hurriyet Daily News 10 February 1999 (Even at his funeral, King Hussein did it again)
  21. ^ Diehl, Jackson (13 February 1999). "Some fine mourning.(burial of Jordan's King Hussein was peaceful". The Economist. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  22. ^ Arabic News 9 February 1999 (Hawatmeh tells the story of his meeting with Weizman)Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Taiwan defense minister secretly visits Jordan". Free Online Library. 12 April 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  24. ^ "World leaders flock to Jordan, except Chretien". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 February 1999.
  25. ^ Crary, David (8 February 1999). "Canada Leader Skips Hussein Funeral". Associated Press.
  26. ^ Sharrock, David (9 February 1999). "Women who rock Hashemite cradle jostle for position". The Guardian.
  27. ^ "In A Stormy Region, Jordan Mourns Loss Of Beloved Anchor". Chicago Tribune. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Jordan bids tearful adieu to King". The Tribune (India). 9 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Special Cabinet Communique - Death of King Hussein". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 7 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  30. ^ "King Hussein of Jordan dies". RTE News. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Algeria mourns Hussein". Al-Ahram Daily Egypt. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Region's grief for 'brother'". BBC News. 7 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  33. ^ "The world pays tribute". BBC News. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  34. ^ "Kuwait News Agency 7 February 1999 (Oman mourns King Hussein)". Kuna.net.kw. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Issue 40971". Al-Ahram Daily. 8 February 1999. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  36. ^ Albayan Daily 9 February 1999 (Numerous meetings on the sidelines of the funeral)-Ar
  37. ^ a b c "King Hussein dies". BBC News. 7 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  38. ^ "PRESS RELEASE : AGA KHAN AND FAMILY TO ATTEND KING HUSSEIN'S FUNERAL". Ismaili Net. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  39. ^ "The world pays tribute". BBC News. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  40. ^ a b c d e Kathy Marks (8 February 1999). "The death of King Hussein: 'You could feel the greatness in him'". The Independent. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  41. ^ a b c d e f "Blair joins leaders for Hussein funeral". BBC News. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  42. ^ "News in English". Cyprus News Agency. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  43. ^ a b "A Rare Kind of Courage". CBS News. 7 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  44. ^ a b c 8Feb1999 The Greek Embassy, New York Archived 24 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ "The Mideast without Hussein". The Baltimore Sun. 8 February 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  46. ^ allbusiness (Israel to issue King Hussein Memorial Medal)[dead link]
  47. ^ King Hussein of Jordan Medal
  48. ^ "U.N. Tribute to the Memory of His Majesty King Hussein Ibn Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. 8 February 1999". Unispal.un.org. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
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Last edited on 5 May 2021, at 06:06
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