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.
About Princess Muna Al Hussein
Muna Al-Hussein is the daughter of Doris Elizabeth and Walter Percy “Tony” Gardiner. She was born in the town of Chelmondiston, which is located in Suffolk, England. She received her education at the Bourne School for Children of British Service Personnel Stationed Overseas, which was located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and was run by the British Families Education Service.
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 its office in Malaysia. Following this closure, the family finally moved back to England.
The senior position that Gardiner’s father ever achieved in the British Army was that of lieutenant colonel, which he achieved towards the end of his military career. His father, Arthur Gardiner, was a gamekeeper. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Royal Engineers and served for approximately one year and eighteen months in Mandatory Palestine during the 1930s. After that, he served his country throughout World War II in France, North Africa, and Italy.
In the 1960s, Princess Muna Al Hussein 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, Princess Muna Al Hussein decided to make the move with him.
Marriage And Children
While working as a secretarial assistant on the set of Lawrence of Arabia, Gardiner first came into contact with Hussein, who would later become King of Jordan. The King had given his army permission to participate in the shooting of this movie and would make surprise appearances to check on how things were going with the filming. However, there is another account that states that Gardiner and the King met when her father began working as a military consultant in Jordan.
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.
Did Princess Muna Al Hussein convert To Islam?
After the pair tied the knot on May 25th, 1961, she changed her name to Muna following her conversion from Christianity to Islam (although rumors persisted that she never actually converted). After the couple had their first child, she became known as Her Royal Highness Princess Muna al-Hussein. Her husband’s name was Hussein.
Following their marriage, the couple had four children; Abdullah, (born 1962; now King Abdullah II of Jordan), Faisal (born 1963), and the twins; Aisha and Zein (born 1968).
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 preserved her title coupled with the lifestyle of an HRH.
Where Is Princess Muna Now?
She is now the director of both the Princess Muna Scholarship Fund for Nursing and the Princess Muna College of Nursing and Allied Professions in Jordan, both of which she also manages.