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Abdullah II of Jordan
Born in Amman, the king as a young man attended the Islamic Educational College in the Jordanian capital for his primary education, later attending St Edmund's School in Surrey, England. Abdullah subsequently attended Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States of America for his secondary education. In 1980, he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK as a cadet. He joined the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) upon commission as a Second Lieutenant the following year. King Abdullah retains close links with the British Army and is the Colonel-in-Chief of The Light Dragoons, a tank regiment and the successor to the 13th/18th Royal Hussars. He attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University as a mid-career fellow in 1987.
Abdullah ascended to the throne on February 7, 1999 upon the death of his father King Hussein. Hussein had recently decreed him Crown Prince on January 24, replacing Hussein's brother Hassan after many years in the position. It was not a universally popular decision. Abdullah's mother, Antoinette (Toni) Avril Gardiner, was British by birth – she was renamed "Muna al-Hussein" upon her marriage to King Hussein, created a royal princess by her husband, and remains a popular philanthropic figure in Jordan – and many people in Jordan thus considered it unfitting that he should be an heir to the Hashemite throne, which traces its descent directly to the Prophet Muhammad. (King Abdullah claims to be the 43rd generation descendant of the prophet).
Abdullah is married to a Kuwait-born, Jordan-bred Palestinian, Rania Al-Yassin (now Queen Rania al-Abdullah), who is as praised for her philanthropic work as she is criticized for her frequent interviews to the Western press and her fondness for haute couture. They have four children: Prince Hussein (born 1994), Princess Iman (born 1996), Princess Salma (born 2000) and Prince Hashem (born 2005).
On November 28, 2004, Abdullah revoked the title of Crown Prince from his brother, Hamzah, who had been designated the Crown Prince by their father. In a letter from Abdullah to his brother, read on Jordanian state television, he said "Your holding this symbolic position has restrained your freedom and hindered our entrusting you with certain responsibilities that you are fully qualified to undertake." No successor to the title was named, but some analysts  believe it probable that Abdullah intends to name his own son, Prince Hussein, to succeed him at some point in the future.
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