Dubai Princess Seeks Forced Marriage Protection Order from UK Court

Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein of Jordan leaves the High Court in London on July 30, 2019. - Princess Haya, the estranged wife of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, has applied for a forced marriage protection order, a London court heard on July 30, 2019, during a …
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(UPI) — The estranged sixth wife of the ruler of Dubai, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, applied in a London court Tuesday for a forced marriage protection order.

The order aims to protect a person forced into marriage.

Princess Haya, 45, daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and estranged wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashad al-Maktoum, 70, applied for the order Tuesday at a preliminary family court division hearing in central London over the couple’s children.

Haya also sought custody of their two children and a non-molestation order at the hearing.

Her estranged husband, who is also the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, along with being Dubai’s ruler, did not attend the hearing. He had applied to the High Court for return of the children to Dubai after they left the United Arab Emirates with Princess Haya earlier this year.

His lawyers asked the president of the High Court’s family division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, to restrict reporting of the case, which McFarlane refused, allowing the media to reveal what Haya applied for.

In a joint statement about the proceedings earlier this month, the couple said the proceedings were “concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances.”

More than 1,800 forced marriage protection orders have been imposed between 2008 and 2018 to prevent the illegal practice and Britain saw its first successful prosecutions last year.

Prior to the unraveling of their marriage, they had often been described as the perfect couple while appearing together at international social events.

Haya, who married Sheikh Mohammed in 2004 as his sixth wife, is close to the British royal family and owns a house near Kensington Palace. She was educated at private schools in Britain and studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University. She has served on the International Olympic Committee and as a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations World Food Programme.

Her legal team includes Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles during his divorce from Princess Diana.

Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the founder of the successful Godolphin horse racing stable, last month received a trophy from Queen Elizabeth II after one of his horses won the race.

His legal team includes Helen Ward QC, of Stewarts Law, who has previously represented Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paloma Picasso, Guy Ritchie and Bernie Ecclestone.

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