Dubai ruler's wife seeks asylum in Britain 'in fear of her life'

Wednesday 10th July 2019 06:08 EDT

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, 45, the most visible and glamorous wife of the 69- year- old ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, fled to London claiming to be 'afraid for her life'. If the sources are to be believed, Sheikh Mohammed had become increasingly concerned about her closeness to the former British Army Officer, who provide security for their family. Sheikh Mohammed has taken up to Instagram to post a furious poem accusing an unidentified woman of "treachery and betrayal".

Princess Haya, one of Sheikh Mohammed's six wives, allegedly lavished gifts on the married bodyguard who accompanied the Dubai royal family on trips around the world. While senior royals were critical of what they described as 'inappropriate intimacy' between the two, the bodyguard was employed by UK Mission Enterprise Limited, which is based in London.

The Jordanian-born and British-educated Princess Haya, married Sheikh Mohammed - owner of Godolphin horse racing stables - in 2004, becoming his sixth and "junior wife". Sheikh Mohammed reportedly has 23 children by different wives. She fled with their 11- and 7-year-old children to London several months ago, a person close to the royal family said, making her at least the third woman to flee Sheikh Mohammed’s palaces in Dubai. Princess Haya fled initially this year to Germany to seek asylum. She is now said to be living in a £85 million house in Kensington Palace Gardens, in central London, and preparing for a legal battle in the High Court for the custody of the children.

Sources close to her said that Princess Haya had recently discovered disturbing facts behind the mysterious return to Dubai last year of Sheikha Latifa, one of the ruler's daughters. She fled the UAE by sea with the help of a Frenchman but was intercepted by armed men off the coast of India and returned to Dubai. Princess Haya then, along with the former Irish president Mary Robinson, defended Dubai's reputation over the incident.

A Family Court hearing has been set for July 30, when lawyers for the Sheikh Mohammed will argue that the children belong with him. Sheikh Mohammed has hired Helen Ward, who handled Guy Ritchie's split from Madonna, while Princess Haya hired Fiona Shackleton, whose clients have included Prince Charles in his split from Diana. The case is likely to be complicated for royals with two young children, billions of dollars and a tangle of political relationships, including the United Arab Emirates’ longstanding alliances with Britain and Jordan, at stake. The princess is a half sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Sources suggest that his treatment of Sheikha Latifa will be a key to the custody fight.

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