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Abdullah II of Jordan

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Abdullah II (born January 30, 1962) is the current leader of the middle-east nation of Jordan (1999-present). He became the leader of Jordan on February 6, 1998 when his father, the aging and ill King Hussein, made a surprising royal decree that the then Crown Prince Abdullah would govern the country as Regent. Until then, the position of Crown Prince had been held by Hussein's brother Hassan. It was not a universally popular decision. Since Abdullah's mother, Antoinette (Toni) Avril Gardiner (who was renamed "Muna al-Hussein", created a princess by her husband, and remains a popular philanthropic figure in Jordan) was British by birth, many people in Jordan considered it unfitting that he should be an heir to the Hashemite throne, which traces its descent directly to the Prophet Muhammad.

Abdullah is married to a Kuwait-born, Jordan-bred Palestinian, Rania Al-Yassin (now Queen Rania al-Abdullah), a respected philanthropist as well as a renowned fashion plate. They have three children: Prince Hussein (born 1994), Princess Iman (born 1996), and Princess Salma (born 2000).

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