Queen Rania still in shadows as Jordan plays waiting game

Queen Rania has scaled back her public activities sharply since facing damaging criticism last year that she was playing too prominent a role in running Jordan.

Note: This article is from the Guardian.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Queen Rania still in shadows as Jordan plays waiting game” was written by Ian Black in Amman, for The Guardian on Friday 11th May 2012 18.25 UTC

Queen Rania has scaled back her public activities sharply since facing damaging criticism last year that she was playing too prominent a role in running Jordan.

Rania, now 41, married Prince Abdullah in 1993, six years before he ascended the throne. Stylish and tall, in 2005 she was voted the third most beautiful woman in the world and hailed by Oprah Winfrey as an “international fashion icon” who also speaks up for women’s rights.

On her Twitter account, followed by more than two million people, she describes herself as “a mum and a wife with a really cool day job”.

In the past, Jordan’s carefully-controlled media would report on two or three different royal appearances a day. Now the queen is mentioned less frequently, typically visiting a school or hospital or programmes for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Plans for the creation of a Queen Rania Foundation – modelled on one run by Sheikha Mozah, the glamorous consort of the emir of Qatar – have been quietly shelved.

Rania was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents who became refugees in 1948 when Israel was created. Her Palestinian identity – always a sensitive issue in Jordan – has been exploited by the king’s critics among the East Bank tribes.

According to sources in Amman, the previous head of the Mukhabarat secret police told the queen she needed to lower her profile for the good of the monarchy.

It is rumoured that a journalist who published negative stories about her was on the Mukhabarat payroll. A claim that she was helping Palestinians acquire Jordanian citizenship was especially damaging.

Stories about her taste for designer clothes and hobnobbing with celebrities such as Bono have appeared in foreign but not the Jordanian media.

In August 2010, there was anger when she hosted a lavish birthday party in Wadi Rum attended by 600 guests who were flown in from all over the world. But the palace defended it as a “modest” affair.

The royal couple have four children. The oldest is Hussein, 17, the heir to the throne. Hussein replaced his father’s half-brother Hamza, son of the late King Hussein and his American-born-wife, Queen Noor.


2 August 2012: This article was amended to remove a reference to Majdi al-Yassin.

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One thought on “Queen Rania still in shadows as Jordan plays waiting game

  1. queen rania is the wife of a king who is a direct descendant of prophet muhammad(p,b.u.h) and claims herself to be a muslim.however, it is a pity that the clothes she wears and the way she behaves in public are not in line with islam and the prophet’s traditions. i fully support her modern outlook and her initiatives to impart education to her people and improve the conditions of the women in jordan.having said that , i must say she should put on veils and cover her hands and legs properly.had she not been the queen and the wife of a descendant of the holy represntative of allah, i would have had no objection to what she wore.it is tempting to be wanting to hog the limelight and conform to the way the west wants you to behave to get some cheap publicity.in trying to please the west, have you ever wondered what example you have set before your countrymen and the muslim world at large ? i do not know how the prophet would have reacted to your ways, had he been alive.does wearing revealing clothes makes us modern ? freedom of expression too has its limits. you have to realize it.is being semi-clad a testimony to womens’ empowerment or liberalization. yes you are free to choose what to slip into.but we are answerable to allah when our days of youth madness comes to an end.so please think the matter over over and over again.

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