Prince William celebrated his 41st birthday on Wednesday, June 21. The future king has, just like the rest of the Royal Family, had a milestone year of dramatic events, including Queen Elizabeth’s passing and the coronation of King Charles.
On the big day, the Prince of Wales got birthday greetings from other family members, and information about previous birthdays – which embarrassed him at the time – came to light. But while the joy of celebrating his birthday was undoubtedly present, there’s also negative speculation surrounding the prince in the press.
A few weeks ago, Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and his wife, Saudi Rajwa al-Seif. When greeting the bride at the wedding, William reportedly did something to his own wife, Kate, which has been branded by some as rude and impatient.
Royal families all over the world have very special connections. Going back in time, we can see ties forged through marriage, especially since several European royal houses have seen their sons and daughters marry each other.
Queen Victoria, who reigned between 1837 and 1901, was also called “Europe’s Grandmother,” as she had her children marry into other European royal families.
Prince William & Princess Kate attended the royal wedding in Jordan
As such, it’s no surprise that the ties between Britain and the other royal houses are still evident today. For example, the late-Queen Elizabeth II and King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden are third cousins, sharing the same great-great-grandmother in Queen Victoria. As a result, the Swedish royals are, in fact, a part of the British line of succession. They rank in the 200s in the British line of succession, according to Royalcentral.
As stated, the British Royal Family has family ties with many other royals in Europe. And though they might not be family per se, close relations have been formed in the last decades with royals in other parts of the world. One of those royal houses is the Jordanian Royal Family, who have become great friends of Britain, especially Prince William and Kate Middleton.
King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania – Crown Prince Hussein’s parents – were in attendance both at King Charles’ coronation and Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last year.
Just weeks ago, the Prince and Princess of Wales attended the wedding between the Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein and his wife, Saudi Rajwa al-Seif. There were several other royal guests at the wedding at the Zahran Palace in Amman, Jordan, including Princess Beatrice. The Express reported that other foreign royals also saw the two tie the knot, including members of the monarchies from Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
Not only that, but Kate Middleton reportedly has a personal connection to Jordan, which few might know about.
Prince William & Princess Kate – connections to Jordan
In 2018, while William was on an official tour in the middle east, the future king decided to stop in Jordan. It was also then that his friendship with Crown Prince Hussein blossomed. The Mirror reported that he was welcomed with open arms and spent time with Hussein at his residence at King Abdullah’s palace, Beit al Urdun, watching a football match.
Moreover, the Crown Prince also took the then-Duke of Cambridge to the archeological site of Jerash, showing him some of the country’s history. While exploring, they also stopped to admire a picture of Kate Middleton – whose connection with Jordan we soon will come to.
While visiting in 2018, William was heard telling the Crown Prince that Kate was jealous of not being with him on the official tour of the country. Moreover, he wished to bring his children to Jordan one day – which he and Kate did in 2021.
You might remember the family Christmas card portrait, which featured William, Kate, George, Charlotte, and Louis in the legendary city of Petra, Jordan, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list and named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.”
“She loved it here, she really did. She is very upset that I am coming here without her,” William said at the time.
Besides William’s friendship with the Crown Prince, Queen Rania is also a member of Williams’s Earthshot Prize Council.
“She was a very beautiful little girl”
Kate Middleton’s connection to Jordan, meanwhile, is more intimate than most people know.
When she was just a couple of years old, her family moved to Jordan, as her father, Michael, was a flight dispatcher for British Airways. The young girl was enrolled at an English-language nursery, meeting new friends from all over the world, including Japan, America, India, and, of course, Jordan.
In a 2011 interview with The National, the founder of the Assahera Nursery, Sahara al Nabulsi, spoke about the morning routine the children usually went through when arriving for the day.
“The morning routine was to have all the children sitting in a circle where they would all sing Incy Wincy Spider, both in English and Arabic,” she explained.
“We would read one verse from the Quran to improve the children’s Arabic and tell stories about the Prophet’s companions, like Omar Bin Khattab. The idea was to reinforce concepts such as respect and love.”
Hanna Hashweh, chief executive of the Hashweh Corporation travel agency in Amman, remembers spending time with the Middleton family. He recalled Kate as an adorable young girl who never was late.
“They lived in a two-story rented villa, close to a park and the nursery where Kate went. I remember she was a very beautiful little girl,” she told The National.
“Kate’s father used to pick her up sometimes in his work uniform and the kids used to get very excited and run to see him. But most of the time the mother picked her up. She was always on time,” she said.
Prince William slammed for gestures toward Kate at the royal wedding
The Middleton family’s stay in Jordan didn’t last long, as they moved back to Berkshire in September 1986. Later, Kate enrolled at a boarding school where he was bullied and badly treated before moving on to another school and later to the university – where she met the love of her life, Prince William.
Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa al-Seif married in the garden of the Zahran Palace. The bride wore a white gown by Lebanese designer Elie Saab featuring a train embroidered with flowers and a diamond tiara. Kate Middleton decided to wear a beautiful pink dress, also by Elie Saab.
The ceremony also had a beautiful nod to the late Queen Elizabeth II. The lovely wedding couple left the wedding for the reception in a 1984 Range Rover, specially customized for the queen’s visit to Jordan in 1984.
The wedding guests then had a chance to greet the couple, sending them their best wishes for what is to come next. Cameras were all over the place, and they caught the moment when Prince William and Kate Middleton were to say hello to the bride.
Prince William went first, and after exchanging a few words, it was Kate’s turn to speak. Yet after a few moments, William felt it was time to move on. While she chatted with Princess Rajwa, appearing restless, William gestured towards Kate, encouraging her to move faster. Moreover, reports suggest the future king told her, “Chop, chop.”
Of course, William wanted only for Kate to hurry along. But his words have left several royal experts criticizing him for his behavior towards his wife.
“His behavior is overly dominant”
Speaking to the Express, body language expert Judy James didn’t like what she saw at all. She said it wasn’t one of William’s “finest moments when it comes to either body language or words.”
“While he has clearly moved on from the meet and greet with the bride and groom, Kate stands talking to the bride in an animated and very friendly way,” James said. “She is not causing a ‘log jam’ [by] holding up the queue and the next guests are still talking to the groom, so there appears to be no logical reason for William to hurry his wife along, especially as she only adds a few seconds to the conversation.”
Moreover, the body language expert said that the hand gestures were “bad enough” She continued to congratulate Kate for ignoring William’s behavior. However, she added: “It has to be said that his behavior is overly dominant here, with his critical parent behavior putting her firmly in the implied role of a naughty child.”
The prince was “rude,” James concluded.
“He could have walked back to stand beside his wife and used a subtle tie sign, like a small part of the waist or back,” she suggested. “Most couples have subtle rituals that they use to communicate silently in public that doesn’t entail any obvious impatience, and the Waleses are normally very adept at these techniques.”
“Tensions” between the couple, royal expert says
On an episode of the Podcast Royal, expert Rachel Burchfield said William was not disrespectful. However, she added that she could “sense Kate’s tension.”
“Husbands, do not do this, don’t do this. William told Kate to ‘chop chop’ as she spoke to the bride,” she said. “First of all William, you were talking to the bride forever, dude, and then Kate gets up there and she’s talking to her for like no time at all, and then he/’s like chop, chop — no!”
“I know he wasn’t doing it to be disrespectful, I don’t think so,” she added. “But you can kind of sense Kate’s tension as they were walking off, or at least I could”
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