As the Royal entered a new decade of her life with grace, elegance, compassion, and beauty, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan is a shining light in her drive for global change.
To her 10.4 million followers on Twitter, Queen Rania of Jordan is “a mum and a wife with a really cool day job,” yet this is a modest understatement from one of the most influential women on the planet. As well as being the wife of King Abdullah II and a mother to four children, Rania is a passionate humanitarian, using her position to promote tolerance, acceptance and the importance of education for girls and young people, and to speak out against child abuse and social injustice.
“I’ve never really been big on birthdays,” said the queen. ” Some people find this hard to believe, but my absolute least favourite thing is to be the centre of attention.
“Growing up, my birthday always fell during summer holidays, when all my school friends were on vacation, so I rarely got to have birthday parties. That might’ve seemed unlucky timing back then, but that’s all turned around. Having my birthday in August now means a greater chance to have all my children back home and what better way to spend the day?” Rania quipped: “As I blow out my candles, firstly, I’ll be baffled by the sheer number of them! I guess the cake has to grow bigger as I get older.”
On a more serious note, the royal added: “But interestingly, with every passing year, the things I wish for get smaller and simpler. Time makes us want to ‘uncomplicate’ our lives. We gain a better understanding of what matters and they’re the basic things – the relationships you cultivate with a few loved ones and the greater motivation to do better for others.”
Rania and Abdullah share four children aged between 15 and 26 – Crown Prince Hussein, Princess Iman, Princess Salma and Prince Hashem. Rania said: “As parents, we tend to fixate on our children’s own needs, but I often remind my children to balance their needs with the needs of other people. I encourage them to be empathetic, kind and compassionate – qualities that are usually taught at home and at a very early age. Most importantly, I always reiterate that they must carry their titles and not the other way around. It’s a responsibility, not a privilege.”
To celebrate her 50th birthday, we are taking a look at Queen Rania of Jordan’s namesake foundation: the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development.
The Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF) was established in 2013 by Queen Rania to improve education outcomes within Jordan and the Middle East.
Her Majesty Queen Rania, who, in line with the vision of her husband, His Majesty King Abdullah II, contributes to growing Jordanian talents and empowering society, a statement from Her Majesty’s office said.
Aiming to build upon the nation’s successes in entrepreneurship and innovation, Queen Rania has launched a number of countrywide initiatives and programmes addressing the needs of different age groups, each of which stands as a testament to Jordanian achievement.
In the past year, education remained at the forefront of Her Majesty’s activities. Queen Rania continued to underscore the importance of providing quality education in line with the evolving needs of today’s job market, in order to position Jordanians to compete locally and abroad.
To stay abreast of the status of Jordan’s educational landscape, Her Majesty goes on regular field visits to schools across the country, where she hears from parents, students, and educators, the statement noted.
She also closely follows the progress of the nation’s youth and their entrepreneurial endeavours, working to open doors for them to succeed beyond the nation’s borders.
As part of her efforts to bring innovative, world class education to Jordan’s students, the Queen has journeyed abroad to establish relationships with world-renowned talents, allowing her to successfully bring their expertise and specialised knowledge to Jordan.
One example is the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development’s (QRF) partnership with Google.org, under which the global powerhouse has leant its support to Edraak, a digital learning platform offering free Arabic-language open educational resources to adult learners. With Google.org’s support, Edraak has launched a similar educational platform for school-age students, the statement continued.
International partnerships have also reinforced the offerings of the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA), allowing for the launch of its trailblazing pre-service diploma, the Teacher Education Professional Diploma (TEPD). Implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and with the technical support of University College London (UCL), the TEPD has since celebrated the graduation of two cohorts of teacher trainees.
QRTA will soon be relocating to the University of Jordan, providing a permanent location from which the academy can equip aspiring educators with the skills they need to help the nation’s students realise their maximum potential.
Her Majesty also contributes to a culture of excellence and innovation among educators through the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, an annual award recognising the achievements of the nation’s most esteemed teachers, principals, and counselors, according to the statement.
Queen Rania meets regularly with the beneficiaries and partners of her various initiatives, including the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS), Al-Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans, and National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA), among others.
Serving as a positive role model for Arab women, Queen Rania uses her international platform to give voice to the experiences of Arab youth and to shed light on the most pressing challenges facing the region.
Her Majesty consistently draws attention to the refugee crisis and the resultant strain on refugees host nations, including overtaxed infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, and rising youth unemployment. By sharing the struggles and triumphs of the region with international audiences, she aims to promote global tolerance, increase understanding, and build bridges with world cultures.
In recognition of her work, Her Majesty has humbly accepted many awards, locally, regionally, and globally. These include the Foreign Press Association’s Humanitarian Award; the Andrea Bocelli Foundation Humanitarian Award; the World Childhood Award, granted by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden; the Walther Rathenau Award; the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award; the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award; the Arab Knight of Giving Award; the Vital Voices Global Trailblazer Award; the Influential Personality of the Year Award, granted by Deputy Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; as well as the YouTube Visionary Award.
2002 Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic from Pio Manz International Research Center, Italy.
2005 Sesame Workshop Award from Sesame Workshop, USA.
2007 Global Humanitarian Action Award from UNSA-USA and the Business Council of the UN, USA.
2008 YouTube Visionary Award- Online.
2009 North South Prize by the North South Prize, Portugal.
2009 FIFA Presidential Award for the 1Goal educational campaign, Switzerland.
2010 Arab Knight of Giving Award from Arab Giving Forum, UAE.
2010 The Leadership Award from White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, USA.
2010 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award from Tech Awards, USA.
2010 Glamour’s 2010 Woman of the Year, USA.
2013 Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award, USA.
2015 Walther Rathenau Award from Walther Rathenau Institute, Germany.
2015 World Childhood Award from Queen Silvia’s World Childhood Foundation, USA.
2016 Andrea Bocelli Humanitarian Award, Italy.
2016 Foreign Press Association’s Humanitarian Award, UK.
2016 The Golden Heart Award, Germany.
2017 Global Trailblazer Award, USA.
2017 The Fellowship Award from Fashion for Relief in Recognition of Her Majesty’s Humanitarian Efforts Towards Children Caught in Conflict, France.
2018 The Influential Personality of the Year Award, at the third annual Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS) in Dubai.
2001 Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree from the University of Exeter, the United Kingdom.
2008 Honorary Doctorate in Educational Sciences from the University of Jordan (UJ), Jordan.
2008 Honorary Doctorate in International Relations from the University of Malaya, Malaysia.
2015 Honorary Doctorate in “Science Development and International Cooperation” from Sapienza University, Italy.