The king shares a smile with his elegant wife as they arrive at al-Zahran Palace on Thursday. Queen Rania was looking characteristically stunning in a graceful ensemble that combined both traditional Arabic and modern Western flavours
Photo: © AFP
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King Abdullah delivered a heartfelt speech calling on Jordanians of both sexes to recognise their own importance in continuing the work of modernisation
Photo: © AFP


26 MAY 2006

Jordan's King Abdullah has been receiving messages of congratulations from political and religious leaders all over the world as his country celebrates 60 years of independence. The 44-year-old monarch and his elegant wife Queen Rania were both clearly relishing the moment as they took part in celebrations at the al-Zahran Palace in Amman on Thursday afternoon.

As usual Rania managed to find the perfect outfit for the occasion. The stylish mum-of-four was looking radiant in a tan-coloured ensemble that, in keeping with her personal values, offered a distinctly modern take on traditional Arab lines.

She and her husband were evidently proud as they looked back over the progress their homeland has made in recent years. Both royals have become important players on the world stage, fostering peace and understanding between Arab countries and further afield.

Earlier this week Rania addressed the World Economic Forum in Egypt, calling on political leaders to make ethics a key part of modernisation. "Beyond the process, I think there are the values we have to consider – the values of tolerance, acceptance, respect for human rights and freedom of expression," she said. "I think these are the values we have to pass on to the next generation if we're to be sure that the process is successful and sustainable."

And King Abdullah, who gave a moving and heartfelt speech at the anniversary celebrations, was keen to remind his subjects that every one of them could play a role in building a brighter, more harmonious future. "This is not the responsibility of one person or group of citizens of this homeland - it is the responsibility of all of us: the labourer and the farmer, the civil servant and the student, the soldier and the mother who raises her children on love and a sense of belonging," he explained. "Again, brothers, I send my greetings with pride and appreciation to every citizen in this country – male and female – and wish you and our dear Jordan many happy returns."

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