DUBAI: It is the year of fairytale weddings for the Jordanian royal family with Princess Iman tying the knot earlier in March and the much-awaited nuptials of Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II and Saudi national Rajwa Al-Saif on June 1.
However, 30 years ago, another couple set the stage for royal romance with a wedding and ensuing partnership that captured the hearts of millions around the world — the current King Abdullah II and Queen Rania.
When the couple first met at a dinner party in late 1992, he was not yet the declared heir to the throne, and Rania Al-Yassin, who was then 22, was a young executive-in-training from a Palestinian medical family and had just moved to Jordan from Kuwait.
“The minute Rania walked in, I knew it right then and there,” King Abdullah said of their first meeting to People magazine in 2005. “It was love at first sight.”
“He had such a great smile and such infectious energy, we got on really well. And the rest, as they say, is history,” Queen Rania told Stellar magazine in 2016 of their first meeting.
Six months later, after a whirlwind courtship and a three-month engagement, they were married in a lavish ceremony on June 10, 1993, at Zahran Palace in Amman, where Crown Prince Hussein and Al-Saif are also set to host their religious wedding ceremony.
For the ceremony, the bride wore a custom gold-embroidered gown by British designer Bruce Oldfield with a matching silk hairpiece and veil. The groom wore his military uniform.
The wedding also made headlines around the world when then-Princess Rania broke tradition by not wearing a tiara, choosing to honor her non-royal Palestinian roots.
After the ceremony, the couple took part in a royal convoy in a vintage 1961 Lincoln convertible that took them through the streets of Amman.
For their reception in the gardens of Raghadan Palace, the bride changed into a second outfit by the iconic fashion designer, this time a sleeveless white gown with gold detailing. The multi-tiered wedding cake, which the newlyweds cut with a sword as is custom, featured tiers decorated with crowns and lace.