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Happy birthday King Abdullah II of Jordan: ten facts about the royal
JANUARY 30, 2014 - 16:24 GMT
1. Born His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Jordan, on 30 January 1962 in Amman, Jordan, Abdullah was the eldest son of King Hussein and British-born Princess Muna al-Hussein.
2. In January 1993, he met Palestinian Rania Al Yassin at a dinner party. Just two months later the pair announced their engagement and in June 1993 they married.
Six years later, in 1999, Abdullah became King of Jordan and a month later he announced Rania as the Queen of Jordan, making her at the time the youngest Queen in the world.
The couple have four children, Crown Prince Hussein, 19, Princess Iman, 17, Princess Salma, 13, and Prince Hasham, nine.
3. King Abdullah shares his birthday with his youngest son, Prince Hasham, who was born in 2005 and as the monarch celebrates his 52nd birthday, Hasham will be turning nine.
4. Abdullah is a huge fan of the TV series Star Trek and in 1996 appeared as an extra in the Star Trek: Voyager episode Investigations.
5. Like many royals, King Abdullah is a huge fan of sports and enjoys sky diving, racing and scuba diving. During the filming of Jordan: The Royal Tour for the Discovery Channel, he revealed that since becoming king he is no longer allowed to sky dive.
6. In 1984 Abdullah was awarded Honorary Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order as a personal gift by the Queen.
7. The Jordanian royals have always been close to the British royal family and in March 2013, the King and Queen of Jordan welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to the Royal Palace as they began their Middle East Tour.
They were greeted by a full military parade and a red carpet and both Charles and Camilla curtseyed the Jordanian royals as they take precedence as a king and queen.
8. The king began his education in the Jordanian capital before heading to England where he studied at St Edmund's School in Surrey.
In 1980 he joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, before completing a one-year special studies course in Middle Eastern Affairs in 1982 at Pembroke College, Oxford.
9. Abdullah has been known to dress up in disguise to mingle anonymously in Jordan to gauge public opinion about his rule.
10. Abdullah and Rania won public admiration after choosing to live in an apartment in the suburbs of Amman, which was a wedding gift from the late king. The royal couple prefer the apartment to any of the eight royal palaces around the city as it allows them some normality in their busy lives.
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