Princess Haya bint Hussein, who left her husband, the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has been seeking political asylum in Britain and is asking for a divorce.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a person close to the royal family told The New York Times on Wednesday that the 45-year-old princess fled with their 11- and 7-year-old children to London several months ago, a move which made her at least the third woman to flee Sheikh Mohammed’s palaces in Dubai.
Since then, Princess Haya has been living with her kids Sheikh Zayed and Sheikha Al Jalila, in a mansion near Kensington Palace worth about USD 107 million.
Reports of her escape surfaced after the princess was conspicuously absent at this year’s Royal Ascot in June.
The princess, one of the most visible and glamorous of the Sheikh’s reported six wives, is a daughter of Jordan’s previous king Hussein and is well known for her notable humanitarian works. She married the Dubai ruler, 69, at a small ceremony in Amman in 2004.
Her flee follows attempts by two of Sheikh Mohammed’s daughters, Sheikha Shamsa al-Maktoum and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum. They were recaptured by Emirati forces and are said by advocates to be held in Dubai against their will.
Princess Haya has not been seen recently or spoken publicly about her departure, and the sheikh’s poems do not identify the subject by name.
Since her flee, the Dubai Sheikh has been publicly publishing his romantic anguish online — in Arabic and English.
“O sweetheart, there’s nothing more to say. / Your deathly silence has worn me out,” he wrote in one poem posted on his official website.
“You no longer have a place with me, I don’t care if you live or die,” said another.