Born on the 29th of March 1980, His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein is the 41st generation direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). His Majesty King Abdullah II officially named him as Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 7th of February 1999 until 28th of November 2004.
Prince Hamzah received his elementary education in Jordan and then attended Harrow School in England. He then joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, passing out as a commissioned officer in the Jordan Arab Army in December 1999, with a number of prizes including the Sandhurst Overseas Sword, granted to the best overseas cadet and the HRH Prince Saud Abdullah Prize, presented to the cadet with the best aggregate mark in academic subjects.
Serving then as an officer in the Jordan Arab Army’s 40th Armored Brigade, Prince Hamzah attended a number of military courses and attachments in Jordan, the UK, Poland, Germany and the US. Currently holding the rank of Colonel in the Jordan Arab Army, he served with the Jordan-United Arab Emirates force operating in former Yugoslavia under the umbrella of international peacekeepers. In the year 2006, he graduated from Harvard University.
Prince Hamzah has also served his country in a number of other capacities; he was sworn in as Regent on numerous occasions and deputized for His Majesty King Abdullah II on a number of missions in the Kingdom and abroad. Prince Hamzah headed the Royal Advisory Committee on the Energy Sector. He was also the Honorary President of the Jordan Basketball Federation. HRH, who received a number of high decorations from Jordan and other countries, including Bahrain, Italy and Holland, is also the Chairman of the board of trustees of the Royal Car Museum and the President of the Royal Aero sports Club of Jordan.
HRH Prince Hamzah has five daughters, Princess Haya, born on April 18, 2007, Princess Zein, born on 3rd November, 2012 Princess Noor, born on 5th July, 2014, Princess Badiya born on 8th April, 2016 and Princess Nafisah, born on 7th February, 2018. Prince Hamzah married Princess Basmah on January 12, 2012.
Prince Hamzah is a qualified rotor & fixed wing aircraft pilot and enjoys other sports such as Jujitsu, target-shooting and horseback riding.
The Early Years
His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah bin al-Hussein was born in Amman on March 29, 1980 to His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal and Her Majesty Queen Noor al-Hussein.
Prince Hamzah was the first of Their Majesties’ four children, and he has four brothers and seven sisters in total. His Majesty King Abdullah II is Prince Hamzah’s eldest brother.
His School Years
Prince Hamzah attended elementary school in Amman, Jordan, and then (following a long family tradition) completed his secondary studies at Harrow School in the United Kingdom.
There, he distinguished himself academically, receiving the school ‘History Prize’.
To celebrate Prince Hamzah’s graduation from Harrow School, His Majesty King Hussein established the “Hamzah al-Hussein Leadership Awards” to further promote the values of leadership training and education in the school and specifically, in the former residence hall of Prince Hamzah, The Park.
Last Years with His Majesty King Hussein
Prince Hamzah was always very close to his father. In a letter to his son on the occasion of Prince Hamzah’s birthday in 1997, His Majesty King Hussein wrote: “I implore God Almighty that He may keep you as a Hashemite Arab Muslim and the delight of your parents and your family. I pray to God to guide you towards what He pleases so you can follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and descendants of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and to be, along with your brothers and peers of the Hashemite family members, a model in piety, in the love of the homeland and nation, and one of the nation’s soldiers, servants and builders. May God Almighty protect you my beloved and dear son.”
During Prince Hamzah’s teenage years, he began spending a great deal of time with his father, and continued to do so until His Majesty King Hussein’s death from cancer in February 1999. He says:
“It was the greatest honor and privilege, to have been able to spend so much time with my father, especially during the last 5-6 years of his life, to be able to learn so much from him about life … about how to live and how to die.”
In January 1999, when His Majesty King Hussein’s treatment at the Mayo Clinic in the United States appeared to be succeeding, he wrote the following about his son Hamzah, in a public letter:
“I have been touched by his devotion to his country and by his integrity and magnanimity as he stayed beside me, not moving unless I forced him from time to time to carry out some duty…. After my insistence, I order him now, as his father and leader, to continue his studies [at Sandhurst], without any interruption, until he finishes, by God’s grace.”
Flying directly from the US to the UK, Prince Hamzah embarked on the next phase of his life with his father’s instructions and blessings. However, within a few weeks, his Majesty King Hussein’s condition worsened, and, he passed away on February 7, 1999. His eldest son and successor to the throne, His Majesty King Abdullah bin al-Hussein, then officially named his brother, Hamzah, as Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
King Hussein also left his son Hamzah a more personal legacy – a father’s wisdom and advice – the product of a lifetime of public service and political experience:
“My son, my advice to you is to fear God, to love others, and to love your homeland. Piety strengthens faith, lending you strength and a sound orientation in your life-long voyage. Your love of people will win you their affection and support. Love of your homeland will win you dignity and pride, as well as God’s blessing and the people’s contentment.”
Military Training – A Family Tradition
During the last month of his life, His Majesty King Hussein described his vision of a younger generation that would be qualified to lead the family and the country:
“The most important traits to which young men should aspire are mutual respect, frankness, the fortitude to reject malice and a quest for knowledge, starting with the honor of serving in the Jordan Armed Forces – the Arab Army – to be a model for other young people and to earn the honor that they deserve for their abilities and capabilities.”
His Majesty King Hussein’s sons and daughters have proudly maintained the tradition of training with, and serving in, the Jordan Armed Forces. Prince Hamzah, at 13 years of age, began participating in various short training courses with the Jordan Arab Army during his school vacations.
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst U.K.
In accordance with his father’s wishes, and following in the footsteps of his grandfather, King Talal, his father King Hussein, his eldest brother, King Abdullah II, and other members of the Royal Family, Prince Hamzah enrolled in the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, UK, in January 1999.
Training at RMA Sandhurst is a one-year course for officers, and all British Commissioned Officers must graduate from Sandhurst. Prince Hamzah completed the program in December 1999, “passing-out” as a commissioned officer in the Jordan Arab Army. At Sandhurst, he was awarded the Overseas Sword, presented by the Commandant to the best performing overseas cadet, as well as The Prince Saud Abdullah Prize, which is awarded to the overseas cadet who has earned the highest aggregate mark in academic subjects.
For his specialized training, Prince Hamzah chose the armored branch, and, after completing officer training in the summer of 2000, he took advanced parachuting courses in Jordan, before returning to Europe to participate in field exercises for armored troop leaders.
Service in the Jordanian Arab Army
Prince Hamzah returned to Jordan in October 2000 as a Lieutenant in the Jordan Armed Forces. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in December of the same year, and served as a Platoon Leader and Division Commander. In June 2001, Prince Hamzah was promoted to the rank of Captain. In November 2004, Prince Hamzah was promoted to the rank of Major.
Prince Hamzah has always valued army service as a unique opportunity: “You get to know people in Jordan from all different parts of the country, different social backgrounds, different perspectives on life. You get a feeling for the problems they face, the way they think, of their aspirations, their hopes and their lives.”
For much of the year 2001, Prince Hamzah was stationed in remote desert areas and on field exercises with his men. In the summer of 2001, he also served with the Jordanian/ United Arab Emirates contingent of the UN Peace-keeping Force. Most recently, as Company Commander with the Second Battalion of the Fortieth Royal Armored Brigade, he was responsible for three platoons.