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King of Iraq and Syria

August 23, 2017


Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid

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Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid (Arabic: الأمير رعد بن زيد‎‎; born 18 February 1936) is the son of Prince Zeid of the Hashemite House and Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid (Fakhr un-nisa), a Turkish noblewoman. Upon the death of his father on October 18, 1970, he inherited the position as head of the Royal Houses of Iraq and Syria. Ra'ad has lived in London and Paris. The Kingdom of Jordan has confirmed his style as His Royal Highness and Prince.


Early life[edit]

Prince Raad was born in Berlin, where his father was Iraqi ambassador at the time. He is an agnatic grandson of the late king Hussein of Hejaz, his father prince Zeid being king Hussein's youngest son. As such he is a first cousin of late kings Talal of Jordan and Ghazi of Iraq.


Raad's paternal first cousin once removed was Faisal II, the last king of Iraq, who was killed in a bloody coup d'état on 14 July 1958 (Crown Prince Abd-al-Illah was also killed). Following the regicide, Prince Zeid, Raad's father, took the representation of Iraqi monarchy as the next heir, and was recognized as the Head of the Royal House of Iraq by his remaining agnatic co-heirs of Jordan.


They continued to live in London, where the family resided during the coup, as Zeid was the Iraqi ambassador there.

Raad himself succeeded his father as all such at the latter's death in 1970 in exile in France.

Education and career[edit]

He was educated in Alexandria, Egypt, and at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1960, promoted to MA in 1963.

After receiving his Cambridge degree, Raad was appointed as Chamberlain of the Royal Court of Jordan, in Amman, and afterwards worked there in civil administration and charitable organizations. He was an aide and a close confidant of his cousins kings Hussein and Abdullah II of Jordan.

Marriage and children[edit]

Prince Raad married at Södertälje, Sweden, June 30, 1963 (civil), and at the Royal Palace, Amman, on August 5, 1963, Swedish-born Margaretha Inga Elisabeth Lind, henceforward known as Majda Ra'ad, President of Al-Hussein Society and Director of Bandak Foundation, born in Arboga on September 5, 1942, daughter of Sven Gustav Lind and wife Carin Inga Birgitta Gunlaug Grönwall, daughter of Eugen Assar Alexius Grönwall and wife, Signe Maria Svensson, and an illegitimate descendant of the House of Vasa. They have five children:

  • HRH Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad - born January 26, 1964, married to Sarah Butler (Now HRH Princess Sarah Zeid). They have 3 children, HH Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid (Born: 17 May 2001), HH Princess Hala bint Zeid (Born: 13 March 2003) and HH Princess Azizah.

  • HRH Prince Mired bin Ra'ad - born June 11, 1965, married to Dina Khalifeh (Now HRH Princess Dina Mired). They have 3 children, HH Princess Shirin bint Mir'ed (Born: 19 May 1993), HH Prince Rakan bin Mir'ed (Born: 20 November 1995) and HH Prince Jafar bin Mir'ed (Born: 4 September 2002).

  • HRH Prince Firas bin Ra'ad - born October 12, 1969, married to Dana Toukan (Now HRH Princess Dana Firas). They have 3 children, HH Princess Safa bint Firas (Born: 26 July 2001), HH Princess Haya bint Firas (Born: 7 March 2003) and HH Prince Hashem bin Firas (Born: 31 October 2010).

  • HRH Prince Faisal bin Ra'ad - born March 6, 1975, graduated from Brown University, and married to Lara Sukhtian (Now HRH Princess Lara Faisal). She worked with MSNBC news in Baghdad covering the Iraq war. She's the daughter of Munjid Sukhtian. They have 3 children, HH Princess Hanan bint Faisal (Born: 3 September 2006), HH Princess Mariam bint Faisal (Born: 25 July 2008) and HH Prince bin Faisal (Born: April 2013).

  • HRH Princess Fakhrelnissa bint Ra'ad - born January 11, 1981, married to Sharif Hajjar. They have 3 children, Radwan Hajjar (Born: 8 August 2006), Faisal Hajjar (Born: 14 December 2007) and a daughter Laua Hajjar (Born: May 2012).

Royal House of Iraq[edit]

Prince Raad's position as the head of the Royal House of Iraq is in contention with Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein (a descendant of Hussein of Hejaz's granddaughter, sister and male cousin, but not in male line from king Hussein) who is another pretender to the Iraqi throne and the leader of the Iraqi Constitutional Monarchy.

The Iraqi Constitution (as amended in November 1943) sets rules of succession that stipulate:

  1. succession to the Iraqi Throne is only for males of Iraqi nationality, and

  2. takes place according to primogeniture, male dynasts lawfully begotten, from the family of King Faisal I of Iraq by his Queen. Failing male heirs of King Faisal (which occurred in 1958 when Faisal II died), succession is next to lawfully begotten descendants in male line of his brothers, the sons of King Hussein of Hejaz, according to primogeniture, provided they are also Iraqi nationals. That constitution provides no further: those who descend in male line from Hussein's ancestors, are not successors as to Iraq. Female descent is excluded from succession.

Raad was born in 1936 as a subject of Iraqi monarchy and is regarded to fulfill the nationality requirement. Moreover, his father was at that time recognized as a Prince of Iraq, and was appointed Deputy Regent of Iraq, as well as acted occasionally as full regent during Faisal II's minority. He is a male-line descendant of Hussein of Hejaz aforementioned. According to the provisions of cited constitution, Raad is eligible to succeed in Iraq. No other senior in primogeniture itself (meaning in practice the dynasts of Jordan, as all other lines have gone extinct), is asserting any claim to Iraq as obviously none of such are Iraqi nationals.



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