Saturday, September 3, 2022

A Surprise Royal Marriage: Dowager Princess Miriam of Turnovo Weds Prince Ghazi of Jordan!

Princess Miriam Ghazi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad.
Photo (c) RHC.

The Royal Hashemite Court issued the following communiqué earlier today:

The Royal Hashemite Court is pleased to announce the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and Her Royal Highness Princess Miriam, Princess of Turnovo, on Saturday, 3 September 2022, in the presence of His Majesty King Abdullah II.

Their Royal Highnesses Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Prince Talal bin Muhammad attended the marriage ceremony.

The Royal Hashemite Court extends its sincere congratulations to His Majesty on this occasion, and wishes Their Royal Highnesses Prince Ghazi and Princess Miriam Ghazi a lifetime of happiness.
Princess Miriam is the widowed daughter-in-law of King Simeon II of the Bulgarians. Prince Ghazi is the first cousin of King Abdullah II of Jordan. Although Prince Ghazi is of the Muslim faith, Princess Miriam is believed to have remained in the Orthodox faith.

Prince Boris, Princess Miriam, and Prince Beltran at the memorial to Prince Kardam, 2 September 2022.
Photo (c) HM King Simeon II.
The day prior to the wedding, on 2 September (which is also Miriam's birthday), the princess and her sons visited the memorial erected near the Jordan River in memory of Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria.

Wedding of Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria and doña Miriam de Ungría y López in 1996
The Crown Princely couple with their first son Boris
Crown Prince Kardam and Crown Princess Miriam with their sons 

On 2 September 1963 at Madrid, Spain, Dowager Princess Miriam of Turnovo was born as Doña Miriam Ungría y López, the daughter of Don Bernardo Ungría y Goiburu and Doña María del Carmen López y Oleaga (d.2019). Miriam has a degree in history and geography, with a concentration in art history, from the Complutense University of Madrid. She later studied gemology, jewellery manufacturing, wax molding, gemstone setting, and jewellery design at the University of Oviedo's European Centre of Gemology and Jewellery. Miriam created her own fashion line under the name "MdeU."

On 7 July 1996 at the Santos Andrés y Demetrio Orthodox Church in Madrid, Doña Miriam Ungría y López married Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, Prince of Turnovo (b.Madrid 2 December 1962). Kardam was the eldest child of King Simeon II of Bulgaria (b.1937) and Queen Margarita (b.1935; née Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela). Prince Kardam and Princess Miriam had two sons, Prince Boris (b.1997) and Prince Beltran (b.1999), who were both christened in the Orthodox faith. On 15 August 2008, Kardam and Miriam were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in Madrid: both the prince and princess sustained severe injuries. Miriam was able to recover from the incident; however, Kardam's condition and the traumatic brain injury from the accident had left him in a coma. Although she had remained a Roman Catholic when they married, Princess Miriam converted to the Orthodox faith as an expression of empathy to her husband and their family. Tragically, Crown Prince Kardam died on 7 April 2015 in Madrid; he had been in a coma for almost seven years. Kardam's death was an indescribable blow to his wife, their sons, and his parents and extended family. 

Prince Mohammad and Princess Firyal with their two sons, Prince Talal and Prince Ghazi.
The Prince of Wales and Prince Ghazi during a visit to Jordan of the British heir in 2013.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Chris Jackson.
Queen Sonja and King Harald V of Norway with Prince Ghazi and Queen Rania of Jordan, 2021.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Khalil Mazraawi.

On 15 October 1966 at Amman, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad was born as the son of Prince Muhammad bin Talal (1940–2021) and his first wife Princess Firyal (b.1945; née Irshaid). Prince Ghazi's uncle was the late King Hussein of Jordan, and the prince is a first cousin of Jordan's current king, Abdullah II. Prince Ghazi attended Harrow School in the United Kingdom. He went on to graduate with a bachelors degree in comparative literature from Princeton University in 1988. Prince Ghazi obtained a Ph.D. in Modern and Medieval Languages and Literatures from Trinity College, University of Cambridge. His thesis was entitled "What is Falling in Love?: A Study of the Literary Archetype of Love." The prince holds the position of Chief Advisor to King Abdullah II for Religious and Cultural Affairs and Personal Envoy of King Abdullah II. Prince Ghazi has served as regent for the king in the past.

From their marriage on 4 May 1997 until their divorce in 2021, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad was married to Princess Areej Ghazi (née Zawawi). The couple had four children: Princess Tasneem (b.1999), Prince Abdullah (b.2001), Princess Jennah (b.2003), and Princess Salsabeel (b.2014). On 18 May 2021, the Royal Hashemite Court announced that Princess Areej Ghazi's title had changed to Princess Areej bint Omar Al Zawawi. These sorts of announcements are typically used by the court to indicate a divorce, which was indeed the case with Ghazi and Areej.

Our best wishes to Prince Ghazi and Princess Miriam!

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