Last year, I wrote about how Jordan’s King has an English mother. Now, we see a somewhat similar reversal — the newest member of the British Royal Family, and the likely future queen, spent two-and-a-half years as a young child in Jordan.
In May 1984, Mr Middleton was offered a posting to Amman, the capital of Jordan. Kate was two years old and Mrs Middleton was on extended maternity leave with eight-month-old Pippa.
“They lived in a two-storey rented villa, close to a park and the nursery where Kate went. I remember she was a very beautiful little girl.”
While Mrs Middleton looked after Pippa at home, Kate was enrolled in Assahera nursery, one of the most expensive nurseries in the area with an annual fee of about US$1,000 at the time.
From Sunday to Thursday, the nursery day began at 8am and ended at 12.30pm, recalled the founder of the now-closed nursery, Sahera al Nabulsi, 67, in Amman.
Kate was in a class of 12 children and the nursery as a whole looked after close to 100 children between 3 and 5 years of age. As well as British nationals, Jordanians, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian and American children were enrolled in the nursery. In the morning, the children were brought together and taught in both Arabic and English, before separating into different classes.
“The morning routine was to have all the children sitting in a circle where they would all sing, Incy Wincy Spider, both in English and Arabic,” Mrs Nabulsi said.
The singing was then followed with a short verse from the Quran.
I recently had a discussion with a Coming Anarchy reader as to whether or not America was an “international” country or not. My view has long been that America is international in the origins of its people — but not in its outlook of the world. Certainly President Obama has faced criticism and suspicion for years that he attended a “Muslim Madrasa” in Indonesia and that he is a secret Muslim. I have not yet heard — and do not expect to hear — the same type of ludicrous comments about the soon-to-be Princess Catherine/Kate for spending her early years in a Muslim country, learning Arabic and reciting verses from the Koran.