The festivities are underway for what is set to be the biggest royal wedding of 2023, when Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein will wed Rajwa Al Saif. Celebrations began in late May when Queen Rania hosted a henna party for her future daughter-in-law Rajwa Al Saif at Madareb Bani Hashem, and on the night before the wedding, King Abudllah hosted a dinner banquet for his son Prince Hussein at Madareb Bani Hashem.
"I’m so happy that you could all be here to celebrate with us. Today is a special day for us, and to our entire Jordanian family: Our joy is one and the same… near or far, you are all in our hearts today," Queen Rania said in her remarks. (More photos and videos can be found on Rania's Instagram, @QueenRania.)
"I’ll never forget how happy His Majesty and I were when Al Hussein told us he wanted to marry Rajwa. She is the perfect answer to all my prayers for him," Queen Rania said. "May you always be each other’s source of happiness and support." Here, see all the best photos from the pre-wedding parties—and check back later today for more photos from all the royal wedding celebrations.
May 31, 2023: Pre-wedding dinner banquet
On the eve of the wedding, King Abdullah hosted a banquet for hsi son at Madareb Bani Hashem, at the Royal Hashemite Court.
Prince Hussein took in the festivities.
There were musical performances.
Hussein was surrounded by his family and friends.
King Abdullah greeted the crowds.
Abdullah, Hussein, and other members of the Hashemite family sat in the front row.
Dancers also performed during the banquet.
Hussein looked cool and collected on the night before his royal wedding.
Hussein was gifted a Hashemite sword with a Quranic engraving.
The Jordanian king shared some remarks during the evening.
King Abdullah looked like a proud dad.
"There’s nothing more meaningful than to share your happiness with the people you love and who love you in return. Your family, childhood friends, and lifelong companions – those who have been by your side at each of life’s pivotal moments, who show up for you without ever waiting to be asked, simply because they are happy to make you happy," Hussein wrote on Instagram. "My dear parents, cousins, loyal friends, brothers in arms, Jordanian youth, and each and every one of the men who joined us at Madareb Bani Hashem today: you are the lifeblood of our country. Thank you."
May 23, 2023: Henna Party
Rajwa Al Saif, 28, was born in Saudi Arabia. For her henna party, she wore Saudi designer Honayda Serafi.
Rajwa (center) poses with Princess Iman, Queen Rania, her mom Azza Al Sudairi, and Princess Salma.
Rania said to Rajwa's mom Azza, "we and Al Hussein will take the very best care of Rajwa. This is her country, and she is among her family and her people."
Queen Rania smiles alongside Rajwa, the future queen of Jordan.
Rajwa with her future sister-in-law Princess Iman, who just had a glamorous royal wedding of her own.
Rajwa's dress designer Serafi told Arab News "When I first got the call, I was extremely happy and proud to be part of this exceptional and historical moment. What I am especially proud of is communicating the love story between the crown prince and Rajwa in the design itself."
Rajwa "wanted to wear something very modest and something from Saudi Arabian culture, but with a modern twist. She wanted the piece to be very elegant, and she also wanted it to be white," Serafi said.
Serafi drew on the Al-Shaby thobe of the Najd region of Saudi Arabia, where Rajwa's family is from.
Rajwa looked very bridal and ethereal in her white and gold dress at the henna party.
She danced with the guests.
Queen Rania embraced Rajwa at one point during the evening.
Queen Rania, a royal style icon, wore a bespoke Saiid Koebsiy gown. The designer wrote on Instagram, "We feel truly honored to have dressed her Majesty @queenrania of Jordan who mesmerized guests at Princess Rajwa Al Saif's Henna Party, in a stunning bespoke Saiid Kobeisy couture floor-length kaftan gown, that featured celestial shades of blue, gracefully highlighting the Queen's natural charm and allure."
Rania shares a moment with Princess Iman.
During her speech, Queen Rania said "as mothers, the one thing we truly want is to make sure that our children are happy. We often ask ourselves whether we did the best we can to raise our children. During His Majesty the late King Hussein’s final days and before his passing, I made him a promise to raise Al Hussein the way he wanted him to be raised."
The royal women took in performances by Haleem Musical Group, Al Salt Girls Band, and Misk Dance Company.
Traditional Jordanian and Saudi songs were perofrmed by local artists Nedaa Shrara, Diana Karazon, and Zain Awad.
Hussein's sisters looked lovely in red and purple gowns. Princess Salma, left, just graduated from USC.
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