Jordan’s Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah married Saudi national Rajwa Al Saif on Thursday in a ceremony held at the Zahran Palace in Amman.
The bride and groom tied the knot surrounded by friends and family and dignitaries that include US first lady Jill Biden, Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, and Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar. Members of the royal families of Belgium, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Japan also attended.
The new royal couple then set out in a special “Red Motorcade” across Amman to the Al Husseiniya Palace. The palace compound is home to the offices of King Abdullah II.
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The couple was escorted by a military band as it made its way through the streets of the capital.
Hussein and Al Saif stood in the open-roof and waved to cheering well-wishers on the side of the road.
The Red Motorcade has its roots with the country’s founder, King Abdullah I, who would arrive at important events on a procession of white horses accompanied by riders dressed in blue pants and red blazers.
Today, the motorcade, consisting of eight bright red Land Rover vehicles and 11 motorcycles, is used on special occasions.
Motorcade members don full Jordanian military uniforms and the national red and white checkered headdress, known in Arabic as the shemagh.
Crowds were gathering at huge screens set to livestream the wedding across the country, with many attendees waving flags and decked out in the white-and-red checkered scarves worn by Jordan’s ruling family, the Hashemites.
At the ancient Roman amphitheater in the center of Amman, Jordanian singer Hussein Salman pumped up the crowds with congratulatory wedding ballads.
The 6,000-seat theater was almost completely full, as families sang along and children, with “Celebrating Hussein” painted on their cheeks, clapped wildly.
Excitement over the nuptials — Jordan’s biggest royal event in years — has been building in the capital of Amman, where congratulatory banners of Al Hussein and his beaming bride adorn buses and hang over winding hillside streets.
The kingdom declared Thursday a public holiday so crowds of people could gather after the wedding service to wave at the couple’s motorcade of red Land Rover jeeps — a nod to the traditional procession of horse riders clad in red coats during the reign of the country’s founder, King Abdullah I. Tens of thousands of well-wishers are expected to flock to free concerts and cultural events.