UK

William and Kate make surprise trip to Jordan for crown prince’s wedding

Jordanians attended a celebratory wedding concert ahead of the royal nuptials (Nasser Nasser/AP)
Jordanians attended a celebratory wedding concert ahead of the royal nuptials (Nasser Nasser/AP)

The Prince and Princess of Wales were surprise guests at the wedding of Jordan’s crown prince, joining heads of state and world leaders at the royal nuptials.

William and Kate flew to Jordan’s capital Amman for the open-air ceremony attended by about 140 guests, including Princess Beatrice and her husband, who watched Crown Prince Hussein, 28, marry his Saudi Arabian bride Rajwa Alseif, 29.

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan proudly watched as their son was wed during an Islamic marriage ceremony known as a “katb ktab” held in a gazebo in the garden of the Zahran Palace and conducted by the Royal Hashemite Court Imam Dr Ahmed Al Khalaileh.

Duke of Cambridge Middle East tour Day 2
William with Crown Prince Hussein at the Jerash archaeological site during the British royal’s 2018 visit to Jordan (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA)

Jordan’s ruling monarch and his wife greeted the guests when they arrived and warmly shook hands and kissed the prince and princess, with William nodding his head as a mark of respect when he met the King and Kate curtseying.

A few minutes later Beatrice arrived with her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and among others who attended were King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and US First Lady Jill Biden.

After the royal nuptials, several women performed Zaghrata – ululation – a joyous sound commonly used to express happiness at Jordanian and Arab celebrations, and the newly-weds greeted their guests.

The prince and princess have ties with Jordan, with Kate’s family living in Amman for a few years in the mid-1980s when she was young girl and the couple enjoyed a 2021 holiday in the Middle East country with their children.

Queen Rania is a member of the Earthshot Prize Council, the judging panel for William’s environmental prize which this year will be staged in Singapore.

Jordan Royal Wedding
Jordanians attended a celebratory wedding concert ahead of the royal nuptials (Nasser Nasser/AP)

William visited Jordan in 2018 and was joined on a number of official visits by Crown Prince Hussein, and when the two men met after the ceremony they hugged.

The event was screened live online and the prince was seen chatting to the bride and pointing to the very long train of her white wedding dress.

William and Kate’s trip to Jordan was not announced in advance and their arrival was only confirmed by Jordanian state media a few hours before the start of the wedding ceremony.

The wedding comes after a difficult period for Jordan’s monarchy, including a public rift between the King and his half-brother, with some commentators interpreting the national celebrations as a way of shoring up public support at a time of persistent economic difficulties.