Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan's wedding causes controversy
A royal wedding disaster? Environmental groups outraged over ‘monster’ marquee erected on protected Italian shoreline for Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan’s big day – while his fiancée puts on a brave face at henna party
- Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan is engaged to Saudi-born Rajwa Al-Saif, both 28
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The Jordanian royals are gearing up for the wedding of the summer ahead of Crown Prince Hussein’s nuptials this month.
It was announced in September that Sandhurst graduate Hussein, 28, is set to wed Saudi Arabian-born architect Rajwa, also 28, after an engagement ceremony at the bride-to-be’s family home in Riyadh.
And while the pair may officially be marrying in Jordan on June 1, it has now emerged they will celebrate with a huge party in Sardinia days later on June 10.
But the joyful celebration has been hampered by controversy in recent days, after Italian media reported local environmental groups are protesting that the enormous gazebo set to host the event has been erected in a protected area.
The steel structure, which according to Il Messaggero is more than 10 metres high, at least 50 metres long and about 30 metres wide, has been built on the exclusive estate of Villa Joy, which has been rented for the big event.
The Jordanian royals may be gearing up for the wedding of the summer ahead of Crown Prince Hussein’s nuptials this month – but a post-wedding party has caused controversy in Italy in recent days
Bride-to-be Rajwa, the youngest daughter of Saudi businessman Khaled Al Saif, walked into the dinner party held by Queen Rania of Jordan
Meanwhile Queen Rania was joined at the event by her daughter Princess Iman (pictured)
News about the marquee emerged as Queen Rania hosted a pre-wedding henna party for Crown Prince Hussein’s future wife Rajwa this week
According to the newspaper, which is based in Rome, doubts over the legitimacy of the gazebo have been raised by environmentalists of the Legal Intervention Group.
They said they wanted to ensure the correct environmental checks were carried out before the gazebo was erected.
Stefano Deliperi, spokesperson for the group, said: ‘Laws in force establish a landscape constraint and a specific integral conservation constraint to protect the 300-metre strip from the seashore.’
Francesco Lai, the mayor for the area, said he had sent a team to inspect the area, adding that they are ‘now awaiting the results of the investigations.’
He explained: ‘We have ascertained that there is not an inch of concrete, there is no need for authorisations.’
Meanwhile he insisted the structure would be removed ‘immediately after’ the wedding party.
According to La Nuova, the villa has been rented for three months, and the party will host 450 guests including royals and heads of state.
The newspaper also stated there would be a finale concert to the evening with ‘an international star.’
News about the marquee emerged as Queen Rania hosted a pre-wedding henna party for Crown Prince Hussein’s future wife Rajwa this week.
Queen Rania shared a number of photographs on Instagram showing her celebrating with bride-to-be Rajwa at her traditional pre-wedding henna party.
She wrote: ‘No celebration would be complete without our Jordanian family. Celebrating our beautiful Rajwa!’
The bride-to-be opted for a stunning white gown for her pre-wedding henna party earlier this week
Queen Rania took her seat alongside the bride-to-be as they watched performers at the henna party
Rajwa wore her hair swept back from her face for the event in Jordan earlier this week, which comes ahead of the
Groups of singers and dancers performed for the royal family at the pre-wedding henna event this week
Queen Rania appeared in high spirits as she danced with other guests at the event in Amman this week
Meanwhile Rajwa accepted warm embraces from party guests who were attending the henna event
Queen Rania paid an emotional tribute to her son Crown Hussein in a touching speech in the first celebration ahead of his wedding to Rajwa next week
Queen Rania’s touching speech appeared to leave the bride-to-be in tears, and she dabbed her eyes throughout
The guest included Rania’s daughters Princess Iman bint Abdullah II and Princess Salma bint Abdullah II, as well as members of the Alseif family and women from across the kingdom.
The party featured performances of traditional Jordanian and Saudi songs by local artists Nedaa Shrara, Diana Karazon, and Zain Awad, as well as performances by Haleem Musical Group, Al Salt Girls Band, and Misk Dance Company.
It also included a Zaffeh for the bride-to-be and Henna drawing for guests.
Welcoming her guests, Queen Rania said, ‘I’m so happy that you could all be here to celebrate with us.
‘Today is a special day for us, and to our entire Jordanian family: Our joy is one and the same… near or far, you are all in our hearts today.’
She explained that like any mother, she has always dreamed of Crown Prince Al Hussein’s wedding.
‘Al Hussein is your son as much as he is mine – you are his family and this is your celebration,’ she added.
Queen Rania shared a number of photographs on Instagram showing her celebrating with bride-to-be Rajwa at her traditional pre-wedding henna party
The Queen also noted that a daughter is usually a reflection of her mother, referring to the Crown Prince’s future mother-in-law by her first name, Azza, whom she described as a ‘gem’
Sharing a few words about her future daughter-in-law, the Queen described Miss Rajwa as ‘the sweetest and most beautiful bride-to-be’, adding that she is as precious to her as her daughters Princesses Iman and Salma.
‘I’ll never forget how happy His Majesty and I were when Al Hussein told us he wanted to marry Rajwa. She is the perfect answer to all my prayers for him,’ The Queen reflected, before wishing the couple a blessed and happy future.
‘May you always be each other’s source of happiness and support,’ she said.
The Queen also noted that a daughter is usually a reflection of her mother, referring to the Crown Prince’s future mother-in-law by her first name, Azza, whom she described as a ‘gem.’
Addressing Mrs. Azza Al Sudairi, Rania explained that two months ago, right before Princess Iman’s wedding, she was in her position and knows how she must be feeling.
The guest included Rania’s daughters Princess Iman bint Abdullah II and Princess Salma bint Abdullah II, as well as members of the Alseif family and women from across the kingdom
The party featured performances of traditional Jordanian and Saudi songs by local artists Nedaa Shrara, Diana Karazon, and Zain Awad, as well as performances by Haleem Musical Group, Al Salt Girls Band, and Misk Dance Company
Sharing a few words about her future daughter-in-law, the Queen described Miss Rajwa as ‘the sweetest and most beautiful bride-to-be’, adding that she is as precious to her as her daughters Princesses Iman and Salma
The bride-to-be was beaming with joy as she attended the event, which was hosted by her future mother-in-law
Guests were beaming with joy as they joined the Jordanian royal family for the event, which comes ahead of the wedding next week
But she reassured her that ‘we and Al Hussein will take the very best care of Rajwa. This is her country, and she is among her family and her people.’
The Queen went on to say ‘as mothers, the one thing we truly want is to make sure that our children are happy.
‘We often ask ourselves whether we did the best we can to raise our children. During His Majesty the late King Hussein’s final days and before his passing, I made him a promise to raise Al Hussein the way he wanted him to be raised.’
Describing Al Hussein as a brave, confident, and strong soldier, she likened the Crown Prince to his father, King Abdullah, admiring how he treats his bride, and his desire to see Jordanians not only coming together to join their wedding celebrations, but also be involved in its preparations.
‘That’s when I realized that he is a true, self-aware Hashemite, who is both a part of you, and here to serve you,’ she said.
Referring once again to the anecdote she shared about the late King Hussein, the Queen said ‘I can now tell His Majesty the late King Hussein that I was true to my word.’
Her Majesty concluded by thanking and welcoming her guests. ‘Congratulations to us all, this is your celebration, just as it is ours,’ she said.
Sandhurst graduate Hussein, 28, is set to wed Saudi Arabian-born Rajwa, also 28, pictured together, next week
Rajwa received a degree from Syracuse University, New York, and studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles after completing her secondary education in Saudi Arabia.
She has worked at an architecture firm in Los Angeles and currently works at Designlab Experience design studio in Riyadh.
She is the youngest daughter of Khaled M. Al Saif and his wife, Azza bint Naif Al-Sudairi.
Mr Al Saif is CEO of the Al Saif Group, a privately-owned company with a diverse portfolio of businesses across healthcare, construction and security services, and is a board member of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, which promotes trade between the two countries.
Crown Prince Hussein, the eldest of King Abdullah and Queen Rania’s four children, is a graduate of the prestigious Georgetown University, Washington D.C., and serviced in the Army after graduating from Sandhurst in 2017.
In 2015 he made history as the youngest person to chair a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
He made headlines last year when he hosted Prince William on a visit to the Middle East.
Proud mother Rania shared her joy on Instagram after the announcement of their engagement in September.
She posted a slideshow of images, writing: ‘I didn’t think it was possible to hold so much joy in my heart! Congratulations to my eldest Prince Hussein and his beautiful bride-to-be, Rajwa.
In Arabic, Rania continued: ‘I prayed to Allah – like me, like every mother – to grant you good and to find the one you love, Rajwa came.
‘Congratulations to my son, Prince Al-Hussein, and our precious and sweet bride Rajwa – May Allah bless you and make you happy and complete well.’
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