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He ascended to the throne on February 7, 1999 upon the death of his father King Hussein. Hussein had decreed him Crown Prince on January 24, replacing Hussein's brother Hassan. It was not a universally popular decision. Abdullah's mother, Antoinette (Toni) Avril Gardiner, was British by birth — she was renamed "Muna al-Hussein" upon her marriage to King Hussein, created a royal princess by her husband, and remains a popular philanthropic figure in Jorda — and many people in Jordan thus considered it unfitting that he should be an heir to the Hashemite throne, which traces its descent directly to the Prophet Muhammad.
Abdullah is married to a Kuwait-born, Jordan-bred Palestinian, Rania Al-Yassin (now Queen Rania al-Abdullah), who is as praised for her philanthropic work as she is criticized for her frequent interviews to the Western press and her fondness for haute couture. They have three children: Prince Hussein (born 1994), Princess Iman (born 1996), and Princess Salma (born 2000).
In 1980, King Abdullah joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as a cadet. He joined the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) upon commission as a Second Lieutenant the following year. King Abdullah retains close links with the British Army and is the Colonel-in-Chief of The Light Dragoons, a tank regiment and the successor to the 13th/18th Royal Hussars.
|Kings of Jordan||Succeeded by: