Princess Muna Al Hussein is the mother of the current Jordan constitutional monarch King Abdullah II. Born on April 25, 1941, as Antoinette Avril Gardiner, she married King Hussein, and by doing so earned the name Muna Al Hussein as a result. Sadly, the couple divorced in 1972.
The Princess is British by birth and was born in Chelmondiston, Suffolk, England. She is the daughter of Walter Percy “Tony” Gardiner and Doris Elizabeth, both of which were English.
Born as a Christian, Princess Muna Al Hussein studied at Bourne School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army and was stationed in Malaysia.
While at school, Princess Muna Al Hussein was an excellent field hockey player and it is said that these were some of her happiest years. Unfortunately, however, the school was shut down after the British Army closed the office in Malaysia. Following this closure, the family finally moved back to England.
In the 1960s, Princess Muna started working as a secretary in Stratford while her father was stationed in Long Marston. Little did she know, her future would lead her very far from the English countryside.
When the British Army sent her farther to Jordan as a military advisor, his daughter decided to make the move with him.
Here, she managed to get a job once again as a secretarial assistant, but this time on the film casting team of Lawrence of Arabia. As fate would have it, the king’s troops were also part of the film. Thanks to this, the King would often visit the set.
It is reported that once King Hussein laid eyes on her, he became bound and determined to make Gardiner his second wife. Mark you, it was unconstitutional for a Muslim king to marry outside his religion.
Because of this, the young bride had to convert to Islam before marriage, earning the name Muna.
The couple wed on May 25, 1961, with Gardiner becoming officially known as Princess Al Muna Hussein. Following their marriage, the couple had four children; Abdullah, now the king of Jordan, Faisal, and the twins; Aisha and Zein.
Princess Al Muna Hussein also had a co-wife in Queen Noor who is originally from America. Queen Noor, born Lisa Najeeb Halaby, married the king on June 15, 1978.
Following her divorce, Princess Muna Al Hussein kept her title together with the lifestyle of an HRH. She now runs and oversees the Princess Muna Scholarship Fund for Nursing and the Princess Muna College of Nursing and Allied Professions in Jordan.