Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 4 August 2020

Jordan's Princess Raiyah marries Roald Dahl's grandson Ned Donovan in small UK ceremony

Donovan converted to Islam ahead of the wedding, and took the name Faris. He is currently learning Arabic

Jordan's Princess Raiyah bint Al Hussein, 34, has married Roald Dahl's grandson, Ned Donovan, 26, in an intimate ceremony in the UK.

Guests sat at a distance from one another while the couple were formally married in order to adhere to social-distancing advice.

The couple were due to marry in Jordan in April, however plans were put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They didn't announce the date of their ceremony, but the bride tweeted pictures and thanks to well-wishers on Tuesday, July 7. In the message she wrote: "God willing we look forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows".

Princess Raiyah is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and Queen Noor of Jordan, and is the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, who gave his blessing to the marriage.

Queen Noor attended the ceremony, Jordan's ambassador to the UK, Omar Nahar, was also there, as were members of the Donovan family.

Queen Noor, Princess Raiyah and Ned Donovan. Arabia Royal Agency
Queen Noor of Jordan, with her daughter Princess Raiyah and Ned Donovan on their wedding day. Arabian Royal Agency

The couple got engaged on October 26, 2019, and a royal statement at the time read: "The Royal Hashemite Court extends its sincere congratulations to Her Royal Highness Princess Raiyah and to Mr Donovan on this occasion."

The grandson of beloved British children's book author, Roald Dahl, Donovan is a freelance journalist, and has contributed to The Spectator, New Statesman and The Telegraph. His mother is Tessa Dahl and his father is entrepreneur, Patrick Donovan.

Guests sat at a distance from each other while the couple were formally married in order to adhere to social-distancing advice. Arabia Royal Agency 
Guests sat at a distance from one another while the couple were formally married in order to adhere to social-distancing advice. Arabian Royal Agency

Ned Donovan took the name Faris after converting

Donovan converted to Islam before the wedding, and took the name Faris. He is currently learning Arabic.

"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," he previously wrote on his website.

"Primarily my interests lie in Asia, specifically the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent."

Princess Raiyah studied at Edinburgh University in Scotland, where she earned an undergraduate master's degree in Japanese studies. She also holds a master's degree in Japanese literature from New York's Columbia University and is currently a PhD candidate in pre-modern Japanese literature at UCLA.

Take a look at the style evolution of Queen Rania of Jordan here:

Updated: July 8, 2020 02:52 PM

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