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King Abdullah II of Jordan - Biography

The current King of Jordan was born in 1962 and ascended the throne in 1999

King Abdullah II of Jordan smiling
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
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Early life

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein or Abdullah II of Jordan was born in Amman on January 30, 1962, to King Hussein and his second wife, Suffolk-born Princess Muna Al Hussein. Prince Abdullah began his education in the Jordanian capital Amman, before heading to England and, later, the United States. 

After completing his military education at the prestigious Sandhurst Academy, he spent a year at Pembroke College, Oxford studying Middle Eastern Affairs in 1982,  and attended the School Of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1987, again in the US. The then prince later served with the British Army before returning to his homeland to take up a post in the Jordanian Armed Forces. 

Ascending the throne

Although Hussein's eldest son represented his father in a diplomatic capacity while pursuing his military career, it was thought Abdullah would not succeed King Hussein, especially as the king had named his own younger brother Hassan as heir. However, two weeks before his death in January 1999, King Hussein named Abdullah as his successor. The King died on 7 February 1999, and Abdullah ascended the throne immediately.

Personal life and marriage

A man of action, Abdullah is a scuba diving and automobile racing fan. A former Jordanian Rally Racing Champion, he is also a qualified frogman, pilot and freefall parachutist. He's also a keen collector of ancient weapons and armaments. Disguising himself in various wigs and plain clothing, early in his rule he gained a reputation for mingling anonymously with his subjects in order to gauge public opinion about his rule.

King Abdullah II met his wife, Kuwait-born Palestinian Queen Rania, at a dinner party given by one of his sisters in 1993 and, by all accounts, it was love at first sight. The two were married in June of that year and have four children: Crown Prince Hussein, born in 1994; Princess Iman, born in 1996; Princess Salma, born in 2000 and Prince Hashem, born in 2005. When Abdullah took the throne in 1999, Rania was, at 29, the youngest queen in the world.  

For all the latest news about King Abdullah II and the Jordanian royals, click here.

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