With just a week before Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Rajwa Al Saif will tie the knot, the Jordanian royal family is in full-on preparation mode. To celebrate her son’s upcoming wedding to the Saudi architect, Queen Rania hosted a pre-wedding henna party at Royal Hashemite Court’s Madareb Bani Hashem on May 22, 2023, People reports. Once the women from the couple’s respective families and the larger Jordanian kingdom gathered at the soirée, the queen delivered a welcome speech, where she gushed about her future daughter-in-law. Rania shared that Rajwa is “the sweetest and most beautiful bride-to-be” and means as much to her as her daughters, Princess Iman and Princess Salma.
During her speech, the queen also recalled the moment when her son decided to ask for Rajwa’s hand in marriage. “I’ll never forget how happy his majesty and I were when Al Hussein told us he wanted to marry Rajwa,” the queen recalls. “She is the perfect answer to all my prayers for him. May you always be each other’s source of happiness and support.” According to People, while sharing a few words with her guests, Rania spoke directly to Rajwa’s mother, Azza, empathizing with how she must be feeling ahead of the big day because her own daughter Iman got married just two months ago. She reassured Azza that the royal family will always support her daughter. “We and Al Hussein will take the very best care of Rajwa,” she says. “This is her country, and she is among her family and her people.” People reports that Rajwa shed a few tears during the speech.
While speaking, the queen took a moment to reflect on the future king of Jordan’s upbringing. “As mothers, the one thing we truly want is to make sure that our children are happy,” she notes. “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.” She added that King Hussein of Jordan, her father-in-law, would be proud of Hussein today for his accomplishments and the person he has become. “That’s when I realized that he is a true, self-aware Hashemite who is both a part of you and here to serve you,” she says to the crowd. “I can now tell his majesty the late King Hussein that I was true to my word.”
For the event, Rajwa wore a custom white gown with gold embellishments and a matching 32-foot veil designed by Saudi designer Honayda, according to Hello! The embroidery featured seven stars to signify the seven mountains of the Amman and the seven-pointed star on Jordan’s national flag in honor of Hussein’s home country, the outlet notes. The design also included palm trees to represent Saudi Arabia as a nod to her own country. The phrase, “I see you, and life becomes more beautiful” was engraved on her veil. Vogue Arabia reports that the veil took 760 hours to create and the gown took 340 hours for a grand total of 1,100 hours. The mother of the groom also brought her A-game in a powder blue custom gown with beaded embellishments and long sleeves designed by Saiid Kobeisy.
In addition to the speech, the henna party included Jordanian and Saudi music that local artists performed, a Zaffeh entrance from the future bride, and henna designs for the guests, according to People. The queen took to social media to share highlights from the pre-wedding party in a video. The clip shows Rajwa's entrance, dance performances, and more. “Some highlights from Rajwa’s Henna last night #CelebratingAlHussein,” she writes.
Before the celebration, Rania posted a video on Instagram that highlighted the people who helped prepare for the henna party. The clip shows individuals coming together to handcraft macrame, braid the placemats, and carve wood. “Thank you all for going the extra mile to make our celebrations extra special,” the caption says. “God bless you and the happy couple.”
While Rajwa was honored at her henna party, Hussein celebrated with his military colleagues, according to the Royal Hashemite Court. Based on the photos, the groom's brother, Prince Hashem bin Abdullah II, attended, and the evening included singing, dancing, and speeches, Arab News reports.
The rest of Jordan also has an opportunity to honor the royal wedding during a free concert at 8 p.m. on May 29, 2023. According to Roya News, Jordanian and Arab singers, such as Ragheb Alama, Tamer Hosny, Ahmad Saad, Diana Karazon, and Zain Awad, will perform at the musical event at the Amman International Stadium in Sports City. Not only is the function free of charge, but attendees will also be able to get free transportation from the assembly point to the concert venue.