Possessing a beauty that is so much more than skin deep, it is perhaps not surprising that as Queen Rania of Jordan turns 50 this week, a big display of fuss and fanfare is furthest from her mind.
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Instead, as she marks this personal milestone, the thoughts of the royal mum of four, whose integrity, strength and commitment to tackling social injustice have made her one of the world’s most respected and influential women, are with her people and the huge challenges faced due to the pandemic.
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"It has been a very difficult year, but I am thankful that my country is doing all it can to limit the spread of Covid-19 within our borders and put our people’s health and wellbeing first," Her Majesty tells HELLO!, as she also exclusively shares with us this exquisite new portrait, taken earlier this year.
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Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Rania has continued to be a source of support, encouragement and compassion to the people of Jordan. But this unprecedented period in history has also allowed for quiet reflection closer to home. "Throughout this global crisis, there have been days that seemed to last a lifetime, followed by months that flew by in a haze," the warm and approachable royal tells us.
Queen Rania of Jordan is celebrating a milestone birthday
"On past birthdays, I've always wished for more time with my husband and kids – and so far this year, time is all I’ve had!” Not that she is complaining.
"It has been such a blessing to have all my children around, particularly during the months when Jordan was under a strict lockdown,” says Rania, mother to Crown Prince Hussein, 26, Princess Iman, 23, Princess Salma, 19 and Prince Hashem, 15, from her marriage to King Abdullah II – the man she has credited with making her “want to do more and be more... inspiring me in every moment of my life".
"Like so many families, we were grateful to be together, but also heartbroken to see the pain and loss this virus has inflicted on so many around the world.
"On my birthday, as long as the people I love are nearby, and they are healthy and safe, I could not possibly ask for more."
To read the full interview, grab the latest issue of HELLO!