January 30 marks HM King Abdullah II of Jordan’s birthday, the royal turned 57. His family have already started sharing heartwarming messages to the royal to mark the occasion, including his wife, HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah. “Wishing a happy birthday to my King and lifelong partner,” wrote Her Majesty, alongside a smiling portrait of Jordan’s King on Instagram.
His eldest son, Crown Prince Hussein, also took to the social media platform to share a thoughtful birthday wish for his father and his younger brother, Prince Hashem, who also shares a birthday with King Abdullah II. “Happy birthday to His Majesty and my dear brother Hashem,” wrote the 24-year-old. Accompanying the message was a photo of himself with his little brother and dad.
Below, some facts to know about the royal in honor of his 57th birthday.
He is a descendant of the house of Hashemite
The Hashemites are the direct descendants of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), through his daughter and her husband. King Abdullah II is the eldest son of the previous ruler, the late King Hussein.
He has a prestigious military background
The royal, who has reigned since 1999, trained at the United Kingdom’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the same military school his son Crown Prince Hussein and daughter Princess Salma graduated from. The prestigious military academy also boasts British Princes William and Harry among its alumni.
He met HM Queen Rania at a dinner party in 1993
King Abdullah II first met his future wife at a banquet hosted by his sister Princess Aisha. The couple got engaged a few months later, and were married in June that year. They celebrated their 25th anniversary in June 2018. The couple’s anniversary falls one day after the anniversary of King Abdullah II’s accession to the throne, which took place on June 9 1999.
He appeared in a popular sci-fi television show
In 1995, the King (who was still a prince then) made an uncredited appearance as an extra in a 1996 Star Trek: Voyager episode entitled “Investigations”. He appears in the episode’s opening scene as a science officer.
He isn’t allowed to skydive
During the filming of the 2004 documentary Jordan: The Royal Tour for the Discovery Channel, he revealed that since becoming a king he is no longer allowed to partake in such extreme sports.