Abdullah II of Jordan Biography
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His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein (born January 30,
1962) is the current King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Born in Amman, the king as a young man attended the Islamic Educational
College in the Jordanian capital for his primary education, later
attending St Edmund's School in Surrey, England. Abdullah subsequently
attended Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United
States of America for his secondary education. In 1980, he joined
the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK as a cadet. He
joined the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) upon commission
as a Second Lieutenant the following year. King Abdullah retains
close links with the British Army and is the Colonel-in-Chief
of The Light Dragoons, a tank regiment and the successor to the
13th/18th Royal Hussars.
Abdullah ascended to the throne on February 7, 1999 upon the
death of his father King Hussein. Hussein had recently decreed
him Crown Prince on January 24, replacing Hussein's brother Hassan
after many years in the position. It was not a universally popular
decision. Abdullah's mother, Antoinette (Toni) Avril Gardiner,
was British by birth – she was renamed "Muna al-Hussein" upon
her marriage to King Hussein, created a royal princess by her
husband, and remains a popular philanthropic figure in Jordan
– and many people in Jordan thus considered it unfitting that
he should be an heir to the Hashemite throne, which traces its
descent directly to the Prophet Muhammad. (King Abdullah claims
to be the 43rd generation descendant of the prophet).
Abdullah is married to a Kuwait-born, Jordan-bred Palestinian,
Rania Al-Yassin (now Queen Rania al-Abdullah), who is as praised
for her philanthropic work as she is criticized for her frequent
interviews to the Western press and her fondness for haute couture.
They have three children: Prince Hussein (born 1994), Princess
Iman (born 1996), and Princess Salma (born 2000).
On November 28, 2004, Abdullah revoked the title of Crown Prince
from his brother, Hamzah, who had been designated the Crown Prince
by their father. No successor to the title was named.
King Abdullah is an acknowledged fan of Star Trek. In 1995, while
he was still Prince, he appeared as an extra in an episode of
Star Trek: Voyager (#36: "Investigation").
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