Introducing: the Jordanian Royal Family!

Okay, obviously, it’s not like I discovered the royal family of Jordan, but with the two exceptions of the famously gorgeous Queen Rania and Queen Noor, most Westerners have no idea that there’s this incredibly glamorous, very Anglo family hanging out and being fabulous in the Middle East.


Queen Rania of Jordan, wife of King Abdullah II

As you may or may not know, my father is a Jordanian Circassian and was born and raised in Amman. (When people ask my ethnic background–usually saying, “So, are you, like, Asian or something?”–I joke that I’m half Jordanian/Circassian and half blonde.) Since Queen Noor looks just like my mom, has the same birthday as me, went to the same boarding school as my brother, and is also the blonde daughter of a Middle Eastern father and American mother, I’ve always felt a kinship with her. If you haven’t read her autobiography Leap of Faith, about how she moved to Jordan in the ’70s from DC as American Lisa Halaby and left as Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, it’s fascinating.

American-born Queen-Noor-of-Jordan, wife of the late King Hussein

One of the interesting things about the Jordanian Royal Family is that, because of their strong ties with England, several of King Hussein’s wives over the years were either English or American, resulting in blond babies, childhoods spent in DC and London, and English/American university educations. In fact, the current King of Jordan, Abdullah II, doesn’t even speak Arabic fluently; his first language was English, as his mother Princess Muna was a blonde English rose born in Suffolk as Antoinette Gardner.

When Queen Noor married King Hussein, they produced several good-looking children, including Prince Hamzah (who was Crown Prince of Jordan until King Hussein named Abdullah, Hamzah’s half-brother, and Hussein’s son from a previous marriage, as heir) and the utterly gorgeous Prince Hashim, who went to Maret Day School in DC, Duke, Georgetown and Sandhurst.



King Hussein's son, the American-educated HRH Prince Hashim

Prince Hashim looks like Paul Rudd, no?

Prince Hashim of Jordan on his wedding day

Prince Hashim’s older brother Prince Hamzah–who went to Harrow, Sandhurst and Harvard–isn’t bad, either (although the little mustache has got to go):


King Hussein and Queen Noor's son HRH Prince Hamzah of Jordan

Let’s not forget Princess Haya, who is King Hussein’s Oxford-educated, Olympian-rider daughter from his 3rd marriage, to Queen Alia (who died in a helicopter crash in the late 70s):


King Hussein's daughter Princess Haya, wife of the Sheikh of Dubai

Unfortunately, with the exception of Queen Noor and Queen Rania, the Jordanian royals seem to keep mostly to themselves on that side of the world. It’s a shame, because a little bit of Western outreach (as with King Abdullah II’s recent visit to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) could probably do a lot of good for better understanding here in America of the Middle East and its many wonderful, cool, down-to-earth people.

Anyhow. Yay, pretty royals!

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  1. Tamara

    Great post! I knew who Queen Rania is (could she be more gorgoues?) and I’ve heard of Queen Noor, but the others were a mystery to me. They are all stunning!

  2. Wow I would have never thought anything of your ethnicity!

    And yes… that is one really good looking royal family! Ridiculously good looking!!!!

  3. randa haobsh

    thank you Nadine ..that was very nice touch from you i love it… should come over amman to see how much this royal family glamor ..and the kindness they are giving to the poeple ..

  4. Stephanie

    What a lovely post. The Jordanian royal family are fascinating as well as glamerous. Queen Noor’s biography was excellent and heartbreaking.

  5. Nina

    WHat a great post! I had my own celebrity sighting of the Jordanian Royal family over 15 years ago. Way back when Barneys New York had their restaurant in the “basement” ( where the cosmetics department is now), my husband and I were having lunch. We noticed security guards all around the perimeter of the restaurant, so we asked our waiter what was going on. He pointed to the table at the center – there was King Hussein, Queen Noor, their children and others having a grand lunch, with much laughter. Queen Noor was sitting right next to the King and was very affectionate, stroking his head. I think he was ill then, and probably in NYC getting treatment for his cancer. They were so obviously in love – it was very touching

  6. Reem Qureshi

    Great and lovely post.
    that is one really good looking royal family!

  7. Ghassan Atiyeh

    The Jordanian royal family are fascinating as well as glamorous.

  8. Makks

    I adore Queen Rania, the Royal Family of Jordan and Jordan the country.
    I am fascinated how the people of Jordan respect their Royal Family. I remember, the taxi driver did not take a penny from me, listenning to me speaking of Queen Rania with the same admiration, like himself.

    Jordan, see you veeeery soon!

  9. Bitcplease

    Whats up with this white-anglo obsession? Its a good thing prince hashem married a pure saudi-ARABian girl instead of going all white crazy. You make it seem like they’re better than anyone else just cause they’ve got Caucasian in them. Screw queen rania and her west appeasing BS(and her fake nose). Look at their sh*t politics instead of getting distracted by their pee colored hair (no offense). The king to look up to is for example king Faisal of Saudi Arabia who was assassinated (indirectly) by the CIA because stood up to the US government and didn’t allow them to bully him and his people. A real hero of the desert.
    fyi Princess haya is all Arab.

  10. ahmad

    His majesty DOES speak Arabic fluently, as well as several other languages. It was only when he took the throne that his Arabic was not fluent as he was only chosen to become king a week before his father’s death and so he didn’t expect to become king. The Hashemite royals are ARAB, btw.