Here comes the bride! After the COVID-19 pandemic “derailed” Princess Raiyah bint Hussein of Jordan’s originally scheduled wedding, King Abdullah II’s half-sister finally married her fiancé Ned Donovan on Tuesday. The couple tied the knot in an intimate outdoor ceremony in England. “Thank you all for your kind messages on our wedding!” the bride penned alongside photos from the ceremony. “While it was originally planned for April in Jordan, the pandemic derailed those plans and it was safer for my husband’s family to hold it in the UK. God willing we look forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows.”
The images show the bride and groom signing their marriage certificate, and another of them standing on a terrace. Princess Raiyah is the youngest of Queen Noor and the late King Hussein’s children. While the bride’s father passed away in 1999, American-born Noor was present for her 34-year-old daughter’s wedding. Princess Raiyah looked beautiful for her big day wearing a long-sleeve embroidered gown and veil, which she accessorized with a stunning sapphire and diamond bandeau headpiece.
“With the blessings of HM King Abdullah II, Her Royal Highness Princess Raiyah bint Al Hussein married Mr Faris Ned Donovan, in the United Kingdom,” the royal court said in a statement (via the Arabian Royal Agency Twitter account). “Her Majesty Queen Noor, Jordan’s Ambassador to the UK Omar Nahar, and the Donovan family attended the brief ceremony, held in accordance with lockdown regulations due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.”
Thank you all for your kind messages on our wedding!While it was originally planned for April in Jordan, the pandemic derailed those plans and it was safer for my husband’s family to hold it in the UK. God willing we look forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows pic.twitter.com/moCMSOxZxp— Raiyah bint Al-Hussein (@RaiyahHKJ) July 7, 2020
Princess Raiyah and the grandson of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl got engaged last October. On his website, Ned noted that he is working to improve his Arabic skills. He wrote, “I recently completed an intensive Modern Standard Arabic course which taught me two things: that my Arabic is not very good, and that I will keep trying to improve it.”
Although Queen Rania’s sister-in-law was able to say “I do” in the UK amid the pandemic, the novel coronavirus forced Princess Beatrice and her fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi to cancel their May nuptials. Prince Andrew’s oldest daughter was set to tie the knot on May 29 at St. James’s Palace.