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International Royals

While the world was in lockdown, this royal wedding quietly took place without anyone noticing

A British journalist meets a Jordanian Princess.

By Jess Pullar
One of the most talked about topics stemming from the COVID-19 restrictions is the matter of weddings - and how they can and can't play out.
When restrictions were at their peak (and remain so in Melbourne currently), weddings could have no more than five people in attendance, including the bride, groom and celebrant.
This left thousands of people across the country with no other option but to postpone their big day, looking to lock in another date down the track when things had levelled out a little more.
Of course, the sentiment wasn't confined soley to Australia.
In fact, the British royal Princess Beatrice was forced to postpone her own May 29 wedding - a rough feat given eyeballs across the globe had marked it in their own diaries.
But for some other royals, it seems that saying 'I Do' as soon as practically possible was paramount - and thus came the first royal wedding we've laid eyes on in some time.
Weddings, in the time of corona... (Instagram / @arabianroyalagency)
As the first major wave of easing restrictions settled over the UK in July, Princess Raiyah of Jordan and her British fiancée Ned Donovan wed in a sunny ceremony.
The Jordanian Princess shared some brief photos and words after the special day, which saw just a handful of socially distanced guests, as well as the bride and groom, in attendance.
"Thank you all for your kind messages on our wedding!" Raiyah wrote.
"While it was originally planned for April in Jordan, the pandemic derailed those plans and it was safer for my husband's family to hold it in the UK."
She added: "God willing we look forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows."
Raiyah wore a beautiful bridal design for her special day, featuring long sleeves and intricate lace.
She added a stunning jewel encrusted headpiece and veil to finish the look to perfection.
Raiyah and Ned were engaged in October 2019, and had clearly been looking forward to their big day.
A statement released from the Palace at the time read: "The Royal Hashemite Court extends its sincere congratulations to Her Royal Highness Princess Raiyah and to Mr. Donovan on this occasion."
The Princess is the fourth youngest child to Queen Noor and King Hussein, who died in 1999.
She studied in the UK, where she gained a master's degree in Japanese studies at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She also spent a stint at Columbia University in New York where she gained a master's degree in Japanese literature.
According to PEOPLE, she is currently studying a Ph.D in pre-modern Japanese literature at UCLA.
Raiyah and Ned were married at a socially distanced ceremony in the UK. (Instagram / @arabianroyalagency)
Ned is also known for his own family ties - he is the grandson of iconic British author Roald Dahl.
He previously worked as a freelance foreign correspondent for The Times and the Daily Mail.
Donovan also has a website which gives a little more background on the journalist, stating that his interests primarily lie in Asia.
"Specifically the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. I am an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, and a Member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs among others," he adds.
"I also have a great academic interest in history, as well as the very niche areas of phaleristics and heraldry."
Raiyah and her new husband are incredibly well studied, going by their portfolios. (Twitter / @RaiyahHKJ)
It seems that the intellectual couple are well matched, and are very much happy to begin their married life together.
And who knows, perhaps Princess Beatrice will be the next surprise royal wedding. Stay tuned...
WATCH: Princess Beatrice and Edoardo's love story:

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