raiyah-jordan-wedding

Princess Raiyah of Jordan marries Ned Donovan in first royal wedding in lockdown

King Abullah II of Jordan's half-sister shared photos on Twitter

Danielle Stacey

The first royal wedding has been able to take place in the UK as lockdown measures have begun to ease. Princess Raiyah bint Al-Hussein tied the knot with British-born journalist Ned Donovan in a socially distanced ceremony in England on Tuesday. The outdoor nuptials were attended by Princess Raiyah's American-born mother, Queen Noor - the widow of the late King Hussein.

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Princess Raiyah shared two stunning photos from the day on her Twitter account – one of her sitting beside her new husband, in his morning suit, signing the marriage certificate and the other of the pair standing on a stone terrace in front of a leafy garden. The princess, who is the half-sister of the current King Abdullah II of Jordan, looked beautiful in a high-neck embroidered wedding dress, accessorising with a bejewelled headpiece.

The 34-year-old academic revealed that they had to cancel their original wedding plans, saying: "Thank you all for your kind messages on our wedding! While it was originally planned for April in Jordan, the pandemic derailed those plans and it was safer for my husband's family to hold it in the UK. God willing we look forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows."

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The Royal Hashemite Court announced Princess Raiyah's engagement to Ned in November 2019. Ned, who has worked as a freelance foreign correspondent for The Daily Mail and The Times, is the son of writer Tessa Dahl and Patrick Donovan, making him a maternal grandson of children's author Roald Dahl.

Princess Raiyah studied for her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh and holds a master's degree in Japanese literature from Columbia University in New York. She is currently a PhD candidate in pre-modern Japanese literature at UCLA.

Britain's Princess Beatrice and fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were forced to cancel their wedding, which was due to take place on 29 May, amid the pandemic. The pair were due to wed at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, London, with a reception at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.

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