In 2004, Dubai’s Princess Haya became the sixth and “junior” wife of Sheik Mohammed. The 70-year-old sheikh is the billionaire owner of Godolphin horse racing stables, and reportedly has 23 children by different wives. The pair share two children. In a close ceremony that only included close people to the couple, the Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Al Maktoum married Princess Haya – who is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and his third wife Queen Alia.
Although the ceremony was private, wedding photographs of the couple together were released to the public.
Among the publications using them was the celebrity magazine Hello. It was the first time a Dubai Royal Family wedding had featured in Hello – but almost certainly not the last.
The royal couple tied the knot in a special ceremony at Al Baraka Palace, Amman.
Surrounded by close friends and family, Haya – who is known internationally as Princess Haya of Jordan – could be seen dressed in a traditional white and gold embellished dress, as she covered her hair in a sheer white veil.
She kept her brunette locks down and her jewellery to a minimum, with a small emerald chain seen around her neck.
Beside her, Sheikh Mohammed was also dressed in a traditional fashion, wearing an Arab headdress known as a gutra, which he teamed with a long beige shirt.
Photos showed the pair signing what looked to be an official marriage register.
In other images, the couple could be seen sitting down and speaking with guests.
Last month, news reports stated that Princess Haya left Dubai with her children and with £31 million, and was in fear for her life.
According to multiple news reports, Sheikh Al Maktoum allegedly posted a poem on Instagram, in Arabic and English, accusing an unamed woman of treachery and betrayal.
The couple are now facing a legal battle in high court.
The spotlight is said to fall on the British Royal Family as a result, after Princess Haya appointed Prince Charles’s former lawyer to act on her behalf in legal proceedings against the Sheikh.
According to Richard Fitzwilliams, the former editor of International Who’s Who, the Princess’s decision to engage Fiona Shackleton – who represented Prince Charles during his divorce from Princess Diana – reflects the friendship between Princess Haya and the Prince of Wales and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
He told Express.co.uk: “Although this case is unlikely to involve the Royal Family in any way, the reporting of it will undoubtedly involve them all the time, especially as the public at large is unfamiliar with the protagonists in a court case which will be so highly publicised.
“They will therefore constantly be introduced as ‘friends of’, though no British royal has any involvement in the proceedings at all.
“This is part of the price to be paid for being the world’s most famous royal family.”