Jordan’s current King and Queen have ruled over the country since 1999. King Abdullah II and Rania, Queen consort of Jordan are unique in their standing as members of the Royal Family. Unlike other monarchs around the world, Abdullah and Rania are actively involved in the politics of their country and relations with countries around the world.
Abdullah’s reign has been characterised by accelerated modernisation – he has mentioned several times that he wishes to bring Jordan into the 21st century socially, and so with him the Middle East too.
However, his current role wasn’t always destined as is the case with most sons of Kings.
Jordan’s crown was intended to go to Abdullah’s uncle, Prince Hassan.
Though months before his death, Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, decided to name Abdullah as his successor.
It threw his life into the centre of a storm he had not been prepared for.
As he explained in 2001 to ’60 Minutes Australia’, it was a role he did not want.
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“I saw what it did to my father, there were a lot of pressures on him and the family.”
Before becoming King, Abdullah lived in near obscurity in America with Rania and his children.
He talked about the daily activities of his life earlier on in the interview, saying: “A month before my father travelled to the hospital in Rochester which was roughly six or seven months before he died, I was on a military course in California, my wife and my children were with me.
“Rania would make breakfast, drive me to the military school, pick me up, I’d come back and do the cooking, do the laundry – we’d even rented a car.
“That was the type of life we lived.
“We lived a regular life as much as we could.
“It was more difficult in Jordan because of who we were, but whenever we were outside the country we did anything anyone would have.
Both Rania and Abdullah have spoken on the world stage to promote peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
Abdullah as recently as January addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg.