Talal of Jordan

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Talal of Jordan.jpg
Talal in 1951
King of Jordan
Reign 20 July 1951 – 11 August 1952
Predecessor Abdullah I
Successor Hussein
Born (1909-02-26)26 February 1909
Mecca, Hejaz Vilayet
Died 7 July 1972(1972-07-07) (aged 63)
Istanbul, Turkey
Burial Raghadan Palace
Spouse Zein al-Sharaf Talal
Issue Hussein of Jordan
Prince Muhammad
Prince Hassan
Princess Basma
House Hashemite
Father Abdullah I of Jordan
Mother Musbah bint Nasser
Religion Islam

Talal bin Abdullah (Arabic: طلال بن عبد الله‎‎, Ṭalāl ibn ‘Abd Allāh) 26 February 1909 – 7 July 1972) was King of Jordan from 20 July 1951 until forced to abdicate in favour of his son Hussein due to health reasons (reported as schizophrenia)[1] on 11 August 1952.[2]

Talal's family claims a direct line of descent from the Islamic prophet Muhammad.


Talal was born on 26 February 1909 at Mecca in the Hejaz, then part of the Ottoman Empire, to Abdullah and his first wife Musbah.

He was educated privately before attending the British Army's Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from which he graduated in 1929 when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Cavalry Regiment of the Arab Legion. His regiment was attached to a British regiment in Jerusalem and also to the Royal Artillery in Baghdad.[3]

Talal ascended the Jordanian throne after the assassination of his father, Abdullah I, in Jerusalem. His son, Hussein, who was accompanying his grandfather at Friday prayers was also a near victim. On 20 July 1951, Prince Hussein travelled to Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque with his grandfather, King Abdullah I. An assassin fearing that the king might normalise relations with the State of Israel, killed Abdullah, but the 15-year-old Hussein survived.[4]

During his short reign he was responsible for the formation of a liberalised constitution for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which made the government collectively, and the ministers individually, responsible before the Jordanian Parliament. The constitution was ratified on 1 January 1952. King Talal is also judged as having done much to smooth the previously strained relations between Jordan and the neighbouring Arab states of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Talal died in Istanbul on 7 July 1972 and was buried in the Royal Mausoleum at the Raghadan Palace in Amman.

Marriage and children[edit]

From left to right: prince Hassan, king Hussein, princess Basma and prince Muhammad

In 1934, Talal married his first cousin Zein al-Sharaf Talal who bore him four sons and two daughters:


Talal received the following honours:[3]


  • Honorary Lieutenant, Trans-Jordan Frontier Force, 1932
  • Honorary Major-General, Jordan Arab Army, 1949
  • Field Marshal, Jordan Arab Army, 1951
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit (with white distinctive) of Spain, 1 April 1952.[5]



  1. ^ "Schizophrenia," Time Magazine, 18 August 1952
  2. ^ "Ex‐King Talal of Jordan Dies; Abdicated in '52 in Favor of Son". New York Times. Associated Press. July 9, 1972. p. 51. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Jordan Royal Ark
  4. ^ Elliot House, Karen (6 September 2008). "The Art of Middle East Survival". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Abdullah I
King of Jordan
Succeeded by