Jordan’s king’s outspoken half-brother has renounced his princely title. On Sunday, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein announced the news on his official Twitter account.
The prince is the younger half-brother of the present King Abdullah and the fourth son of the late King Hussein.
He was placed under house arrest last year after accusing the country’s authorities of corruption, inefficiency, and harassment.
In March, Jordan published an apology reportedly signed by Hamzah and appealed for forgiveness from his half-brother, King Abdullah.
Prince Hamzah announces that he decided because his convictions cannot be reconciled with the institutions ‘approaches, policies, and methods.
On his official Twitter account, he stated:
“Following what I have witnessed in recent years, I have concluded that my personal convictions, which my father instilled in me, and which I tried hard in my life to adhere to, are not in line with the approaches, trends, and modern methods of our institutions.
From the matter of honesty to God and conscience, I see nothing but to transcend and abandon the title of Prince. I had the great honor of serving my beloved country and my dear people over the years of my life.
I will remain as I have always been and loyal to our beloved Jordan as long as I live.”
But, there has been zero reporting in Jordanian media, either officially or via private media channels. And no official announcement from the Hashemite Royal Court either.
However, there has been plenty of comment from pan-Arab media outlets and social media.
Elaph (a leading Arabic News channel) has reported that the renouncing of his title could have been pre-emptive, fearing that he would be stripped of his role.
Other outlets have commented that the move would allow Hamza bin Hussein to live abroad. But all have agreed that the move is “unprecedented” among Jordan’s royal family.
Abdullah and Hamzah are sons of King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for nearly a half-century before his death in 1999. Abdullah had appointed Hamzah as crown prince upon his succession but stripped him of 2004.
Following mediation by royal family elders, the estranged Prince, who had been placed under house arrest after accusing the country’s authorities of corruption, had averted punishment by vowing allegiance to the King.
Prince Hamzah bin Hussein’s house arrest
The BBC broadcast a video of Hamzah on April 3, 2021, in which he stated that he had been placed under house arrest as part of a crackdown on critics.
According to reports, Prince Hamzah’s lawyer sent the footage to the BBC.
King Abdullah II publicly intimated on April 7, 2021, that his tension with Hamzah, who had promised loyalty to him two days after his house arrest, was easing and that Hamzah was now “in his palace under my protection.”
According to Abdullah, the issue that led to Hamzah’s house arrest began when Jordan’s military chief of staff visited Prince Hamzah and cautioned him not to attend meetings with government dissidents. Hamzah relinquished his position in April 2022.