Published 24 June 2018

I arrived in Amman just a few hours ago; and I have already been enormously touched by the warmth of the welcome

The Duke of Cambridge

Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman, thank you for coming this evening to celebrate the Official Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen.

I arrived in Amman just a few hours ago; and I have already been enormously touched by the warmth of the welcome. Jordanian hospitality is world renowned, and I can already see why.

The ties between our Royal Families stretch back over generations.  My grandmother, The Queen, and His Late Majesty King Hussein ascended to the throne exactly one month apart in 1952.  The Queen to this day talks fondly of the special bond of friendship that existed between them.   Your Royal Highnesses, I look forward to continuing to strengthen this bond between our Families in the years to come.

These same bonds extend also to our militaries. We in the United Kingdom treasure our links with your Armed Forces enormously. The idea of service to one’s country has always been a value that we share.  From the Great Arab Revolt of 1917 to the battle against Da’esh today, our Armed Forces and security organisations have stood, and will continue to stand, side-by-side against shared threats and in defence of shared values.

I greatly admire the resilience you in Jordan have shown in the face of the many security and humanitarian challenges that have confronted you as a result of conflicts in this region.

The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable.  You should be enormously proud of what you have done. In so many ways, Jordan as an open and stable society is a beacon of hope for many other people in the Middle East.

My wife Catherine is very sorry she cannot be here with me so soon after the birth of our son Louis, but her family remembers very fondly the almost three years she spent here as a child when her father worked for British Airways in Amman.  Catherine's experience is not unique – the interchange between our two countries is real and deep: work, study, tourism and family links.  Our historic ties and friendship are played out in the lives of thousands of people who consider both countries home.

It is the links between our young people that excite me above all, because they show so clearly what we are capable of together. I am now 36 so I am not sure that I can call myself young any longer – but I am delighted this visit will allow me to meet so many talented young Jordanians.

Just now, I met with students active in His Royal Highness’s Crown Prince Foundation. Their passion, creativity and dedication, their commitment to make a difference in Jordan is inspirational.

Jordan’s strength has always been the calibre of its people.  Education and training are vital to ensure this most precious resource is nurtured and helped to reach its full potential. Britain is working closely with Jordan to help empower youth, create jobs and boost the economy.

If the future of a country lies in the hands of its youth, then Jordan’s future is bright.

To conclude, I bring warm greetings from my grandmother The Queen.  She would like me to convey to you the following message:

Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all of you attending the celebrations this evening.

We have fond memories of our State visit to Jordan in 1984, when we were able to explore the history of Petra and experience the charm and hospitality of Amman and Aqaba.  I am delighted that 34 years later, The Duke of Cambridge will be able to experience the heartfelt welcome we received in Jordan for himself.

In 1984, I spoke of how, for me and my people, Jordan represented not only a country where legend and history meet, but also a staunch and long held friend.  I am pleased to say that this remains the case to this day and our two kingdoms continue to work together in the spirit of friendship.

I hope you all have a most enjoyable evening.

Signed, Elizabeth R

Your Royal Highnesses, ladies and gentlemen - I would like to conclude with the traditional toasts offered at this occasion,

First, His Majesty King Abdullah The Second bin Al Hussein, and the enduring strength of the relationship between the Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

His Majesty The King (toast with glass)

And to conclude, to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second

The Queen (toast with glass)

And finally: shukran jazeelan (thank you very much)