AMMAN — Jordan will celebrate on Tuesday His Majesty King Abdullah II’s 56th birthday.
Born in Amman on January 30, 1962, King Abdullah is the eldest son of His Majesty the late King Hussein and HRH Princess Muna.
A Royal Decree was issued on January 24, 1999 naming him Crown Prince. The King began his primary education at the Islamic Educational College in Amman, and later attended St Edmund’s School in Surrey, England. For his secondary education, he attended Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the US.
King Abdullah joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the United Kingdom in 1980 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1981.
He joined the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army in 1982 as a first lieutenant, moving up the ranks in the military. He also served with the Royal Jordanian Air Force Anti-Tank Wing, where he received his wings as well as his qualification as a Cobra attack pilot.
In 1987, the King joined the foreign service faculty of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and completed an advanced research and study programme in international affairs along with a Master’s programme in foreign service affairs.
The King re-joined the military in 1989 and continued to be promoted, becoming commander of the Royal Jordanian Special Forces and Special Operations in 1994 with the rank of brigadier general.
In 1996, the King reorganised the Special Forces to comprise selected units, and was promoted to the rank of major general in 1998.
King Abdullah married Her Majesty Queen Rania on June 10, 1993 and they have four children: Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma and Prince Hashem.