A royal scandal seems to be brewing after recent reports alleged that Dubai's Princess Haya bint Hussein had engaged in a lengthy affair with her married bodyguard, Russell Flowers, paying around £1.2 million to keep it a secret. For the unitiated, she is the sixth wife of the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He had divorced her in 2019.
According to reports, she paid people to hush up the affair, and it is only now that it has emerged amid a High Court hearing between Princess Haya and her 70-year-old estranged husband. Alongside the pay-off, she is also believed to have showered the bodyguard with lavish gifts. This, according to a Daily Mail report, includes a £12,000 watch, cigars, a personalised number plate and a vintage shotgun. The report also claims that the princess had insisted that her bodyguard accompany her to various events and on trips. The Mail report also alleges that several other members of the security team who had known of the affair had been similarly paid off.
In February 2019, her husband divorced Princess Haya under Sharia law. Soon after, she left Dubai with her children, sparking off a media frenzy even as her husband initiated proceedings to seek the return of their children to Dubai. Not much is known about the details of the litigation. It must be noted that the allegations have not been confirmed or denied by the Princess. The reports add that this affair was eventually discovered by Flowers' wife, who would go on to divorce him.
Princess Haya is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and his third wife Queen Alia. She is the half-sister of King Abdullah II, the present king of Jordan. She had in the past been an equestrian, winning medals and representing Jordan in competitions. Named Jordan's athlete of the year in 1993, she was the first woman to represent the country in international equestrian sport and the only woman to win a medal in the Pan-Arab Equestrian Games. She had also qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics, and later became a member of the International Olympic Committee.