Jordan’s Prince Hamzah bin Hussein renounces his title | Messages

Prince Hamzah says he made the decision because his beliefs were not reconciled with the “approaches, policies and methods of our institutions”.

An outspoken half-brother of the Jordanian king has relinquished his princely title.

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein published the announcement on its official Twitter account on Sunday.

He wrote that he was driven to the decision because his beliefs were inconsistent with “the current approaches, policies and methods of our institutions.”

It was the latest chapter in an ongoing palace feud that saw the junior royal placed under house arrest a year ago.

He stopped directly criticizing King Abdullah II and the ruling elites, as he had done in the past, but his tone signaled that the rift was not being closed, as the Royal Hashemite Court had suggested in the past.

The Royal Hashemite Court initially did not comment.

Abdullah and Hamzah are sons of King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for almost half a century before his death in 1999. Abdullah had appointed Hamzah as crown prince after his succession, but stripped him of the title in 2004.

A handout image released by Jordan’s Petra News Agency shows Prince Hamzah and his wife Princess Basma Otoum [File: Yousef Allan/Petra via AFP]

The monarch put Hamzah under house arrest last April over his alleged conspiracy to destabilize the western-allied kingdom.

In a video statement at the time, Hamzah denied the allegations and said he would be punished for speaking out against official corruption.

Hamzah apologized to his brother last month, according to a letter released at the time by the Royal Hashemite Court. Hamzah also expressed hope that “we can open this chapter in the history of our country and our family.”

Analyst Amer Sabaileh said he expected Hamzah’s announcement would reignite the royal rift that many in Jordan believed had been resolved with the prince’s apology.

Sabaileh noted that Hamzah made the decision unilaterally and announced it on his personal Twitter account, rather than in consultation with the royal family.

“He’s trying to get back into the old narrative,” Sabaileh said of Hamzah. “We’re back to the point where he says he’s not satisfied; that he is still bitter and there is no reconciliation.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Hamzah’s decision to relinquish his title will help restore his freedom of movement. Hamzah has made only one public appearance since the feud. In February, the court announced the birth of Hamzah’s son.

The feud was a rare case of power struggles within the Hashemite royal family that went public. At one point, Jordan imposed a gag order on coverage of the events, reflecting the sensitivity of issues surrounding the royal family.

Abdullah had accused his brother of sedition but said the dispute was being settled within the family and Hamzah was staying in his own palace under the king’s protection.

Two former senior officials involved in the case alleged conspiracy were sentenced to 15 years in prison by a state security court for incitement to hatred. Details of the alleged conspiracy were never released.

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