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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Duke of Cambridge welcomed by Crown Prince of Jordan on his first Middle East visit

The two princes, who both attended Sandhurst military college, shared photos watching football together

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan visit the Jerash archaeological site on June 25, 2018 in Amman, Jordan. Ian Vogler / Getty 
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan visit the Jerash archaeological site on June 25, 2018 in Amman, Jordan. Ian Vogler / Getty 

The Duke of Cambridge has spent time with the Crown Prince of Jordan on his first tour to the Middle East, visiting archaeological ruins, watching football and touring Jordanian military bases.

Prince William, 36, shares much in common with the younger Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, who is a 23-year-old trainee helicopter pilot. Both were educated at the UK’s Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and both have huge public followings.

The princes shared a photo of the two watching a rerun of the England versus Panama World Cup Football match with their millions of Instagram followers on Sunday evening. The photo, which showed the casually dressed royals relaxing at the Beit Al Urdun Palace in Amman, garnered over 110,000 likes from the Crown prince’s 1.4 million followers and 242,000 likes from Kensington Palace’s 6.2 million followers.

Prince William had missed the match live and earlier begged reporters not to give away the score.

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The Duke of Cambridge is on a five-day tour of Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, his first trip to the region and the first of any member of the British royal family to Israel and Palestine.

But it’s not the first visit by a British royal to Jordan, where the UK has ties stretching back to the British Mandate. Crown prince Hussein is a member of the Hashemite royal family, which Britain helped install in then-trans Jordan in 1921. Queen Elizabeth II last visited Jordan in 1984.

On Sunday evening, the Duke attended an event celebrating the Queen’s official birthday at the residence of the British ambassador Edward Oakden in Amman.

“My grandmother, The Queen, and His Late Majesty King Hussein ascended to the throne exactly one month apart in 1952,” he said in a prepared speech. “The Queen to this day talks fondly of the special bond of friendship that existed between them. Your Royal Highnesses, I look forward to continuing to strengthen this bond between our Families in the years to come."

The Duke added that those bonds also extend to both militaries. “We in the United Kingdom treasure our links with your armed forces enormously.”

During his visit, the Duke and the crown prince visited a base for the Jordanian Armed Forces Quick Reaction Force (QRF), which secures Jordan’s borders against threats including ISIS.

The QRF was established with support and training from the British military. In 2015, the British government gifted £2.5m of equipment to the QRF including vehicles, body armour, communications and IT equipment. The British military continues to provide training to the force.

“The idea of service to one’s country has always been a value that we share,” the Duke said. “From the Great Arab Revolt of 1917 to the battle against Daesh today, our armed forces and security organisations have stood, and will continue to stand, side-by-side against shared threats and in defence of shared values.”

The Duke of Cambridge's trip is billed as non-political. On Monday evening he was scheduled to travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.