Queen Rania's Interview with CNN's Becky Anderson

September 18, 2022

QUEEN RANIA: The first time I met the Queen I think I was just few months into my role. And she was quite sensitive to the fact that I was new. And she could tell that, you know, I wasn’t too sure of myself, and I did ask her, you know, of her advice, and she told me how important it is to always be there, to have that sense of duty and discipline. To pay attention to the little details. And I’ve always taken her advice very seriously. To me, she was public service personified. You know, she is a woman who pledged her life to the service of her people, and for 70 years, never once fell short of that promise. And you know, I think today, you know, she was the Queen of England, but she’s also symbolically the Queen of the world. She means something to all of us. And no matter who you are, you feel a sense of an affinity and closeness to her.

BECKY ANDERSON: You’ve been struck by the atmosphere, I think, and the crowds, and the British public, and those from around the world who’ve taken the opportunity to come here, you know, just this sort of coming together sense…

QUEEN RANIA: Look, it’s been a rough couple of years for the UK. You know, trying to negotiate a deal with Europe post-Brexit, a pandemic, a cost of living, inflation… It has been tough. But I have never sensed the sense of togetherness that I feel today in the UK. So, she was a unifying force during her lifetime, but she’s also unifying in her passing. Today, she reminded people of what it means to be British. She gave everybody a sense of perspective. It’s been so heartening to see how everybody has come together. Politicians from all sides have sort of closed ranks around their new King. And today, we mourn a life, but we also celebrate a life. And we celebrate the start of a new chapter for this country, and I’m very optimistic.

BECKY ANDERSON: How important is this royal family to the Hashemites?

QUEEN RANIA: The relationship goes back several decades and spans several generations. His Majesty King Hussein and Her Majesty ascended to the throne 1952, and they’ve enjoyed almost 50 years of a close friendship made the more special by their common experience as monarchs. And my husband, King Abdullah, inherited and cherished this relationship. He was also very fond of Her Majesty, as was I – it’s impossible not to be. And we have a very close relationship with His Majesty, and the Queen Consort Camilla, and my son now is very close with Prince William. So, it’s a relationship that goes through generations and one that we really hold close because it’s based on common values. My husband as you know has served in the British army as well, and my son also graduated from Sandhurst. So, it’s you know—it’s multifaceted and it goes back a very long way.

BECKY ANDERSON: Her Majesty’s reign was during a period where the end of colonialism was seen, and there is a respect for the British monarchy intertwined with some issues that came from that era. How do you see the relationship developing going forward?

QUEEN RANIA: Her Majesty was always led by principle, and was willing to change and modify policies as she saw fit. And so I think people understand that where the monarchy stands today is very different than vis a vis these issues, than it was… Every era has its own circumstances, and moving forward like I said, His Majesty has a deep understanding of our region, a deep respect.

BECKY ANDERSON: Queen Rania, he also has a deep admiration for and interest in Islam, which I think is really important as we consider the relationship that the British monarchy has with the Middle East and wider region, Gulf region, going forward.

QUEEN RANIA: Absolutely, because he’s a very thoughtful person. He’s somebody who knows things and studies things deeply. So, when he deals with the Muslim world he deals with it with a sense of nuance and a sense of experience and knowledge. So, he knows the region very, very well and really knows how to navigate--He’s a very wise man, I have no doubt in my mind how much he would enhance relations, not just with our part of the world, but with every part of the world.