Given the variety of government systems in the Middle East, it is interesting to know what is chosen in Jordan: who governs, who is the Head of State, and what is their method of appointment. On this page, we tell you about Jordan’s state form and royal family, whose monarchs enjoy high popularity and great respect among the population.
Jordan is a state configured as a constitutional monarchy. That is to say, the legislative power rests in the Chamber of Deputies (elected through universal suffrage, as Jordan was a pioneer in women’s suffrage among Arab countries), and the Senate (with 65 members directly elected by the king). On the other hand, the executive power rests with the king and the Council of Ministers, led by a prime minister.
In any case, the king’s power is more significant than that of his Western counterparts: in addition to being Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he has a broad veto power. The next authorities of the country are the prime minister (or president of the Council of Ministers), the president of the Senate, and the president of the Chamber of Deputies.
However, the country has made significant progress in various aspects, including judicial independence, enshrined in the constitutional reform of 2011. Its courts are classified into three areas of jurisdiction: civil, religious, and special. The king, however, has the power to appoint the president of the Constitutional Court, composed of nine members.
The reigning dynasty in Jordan is of Hashemite lineage, which dates back to the early days of Islam, specifically to the Banu Hashim tribe, to which one of Muhammad’s great-grandfathers belonged. The first king of independent Jordan was Abdullah I, who also played a central role as king during the British protectorate in the first half of the 20th century.
From its beginnings, and especially with the current Jordanian Royal Family, the image projected to the outside world has been that of a modern Royal House, with good relationships with other royal families, both Western and Eastern.
The current king (as of September 2022) is Abdullah II, whose full name is Abdullah II bin Al Hussein. He is the son and successor of Hussein I, who reigned for almost half a century in the country and was one of the main architects of Jordan’s political stability, good relations with neighboring countries, and progress in democratic and civil rights in the country.
Abdullah II was born in 1962 and has been in office since 1999. He is currently very popular, although his ascension was not without controversy: his mother was British (Toni Gardiner, whose Arabic name was Muna Al-Hussein) and some purists questioned his legitimacy for the position. Abdullah II has continued his father’s work, mainly by liberalizing the economy.
Queen Rania is probably the most well-known person in the Jordanian Royal Family, at least outside of Jordan’s borders and especially among those who like to browse glossy magazines. She is known for her recognized good style in fashion and elegance that dazzles everyone. Born in Kuwait, she carries out important social work both in her country and abroad.
Together with King Abdullah II, she is the mother of four children: Prince Hussein (heir to the throne by decision of his father, something that also generated some debate, as his younger half-brother Hamza had aspirations to the throne), Princess Iman, Princess Salma, and Prince Hashem.
The prominent role of Queen Rania is not exclusive to her: women have always had a prominent role in the Jordanian Royal Family, as was also the case with the former Queen Noor, who promoted numerous social projects in the country.