Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy 62nd HRH Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa

Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (Arabic: حمد بن عيسى آل خليفة‎; born 28 January 1950, Riffa, Bahrain) is the King of Bahrain (since 14 February 2002), having previously been its Emir (from 6 March 1999). He is the son of Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the previous Emir.

Early life and education

Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa was born on 28 January 1950 in Riffa, Bahrain. His parents were Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa who in 1950 was the Crown Prince and Hessa bint Salman Al Khalifa. After attending Manama Secondary School in Bahrain, Hamad was sent to England to complete the remainder of his education. He attended Applegarth College in Godalming, Surrey before taking a place at The Leys School in Cambridge. Hamad then underwent military training, first with the British Army at Mons Officer Cadet School at Aldershot in Hampshire, graduating in September 1968. Four years later in June 1972 Hamad attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, graduating the following June with a degree in leadership.


King Hamad with Donald H. Rumsfeld
On the death of his father Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Hamad became Emir of Bahrain on 6 March 1999. As Emir, Hamad brought several political reforms to Bahrain. These included the release of all political prisoners, the dissolution of the State Security Court and the abolition of the 1974 Decree on State Security Measures. Additionally, many Bahraini citizens were permitted to return after several years in exile overseas. In 2002 he declared himself king.

Crown prince

King Hamad was designated as heir apparent by his father on 27 June 1964. In 1968 King Hamad was appointed as the Chairman of the Irrigation Council and Manama Municipal Council. He was commissioned into the Bahrain National Guard on 16 February 1968 and appointed as its commander the same year, remaining in that post until 1969 when he was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force. In 1970 King Hamad became the head of the Bahraini Department of Defence and the Vice-Chairman of the Administrative Council, remaining in both offices until 1971. From 1971 to 1988 he was the Minister of State for Defence.
In October 1977, King Hamad started learning to fly helicopters, successfully completing the training in January 1978. He then worked to establish the Bahrain Amiri Air Force which came into being in 1987 when the Defence Force air wing was reconstituted as an air force.


King Hamad has four wives and in total twelve children, seven sons and five daughters:
  • He married his first wife, Queen Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, at Rifa’a on 9 October 1968. Together they have three sons and one daughter:
    • HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain (born 21 October 1969)
    • HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa (born 30 June 1975)
    • HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Khalifa (born 4 June 1977)
    • HH Sheikha Najla bint Hamad Al Khalifa (born 20 May 1981)
  • His second wife, Sheikha Sheia bint Hassan Al-Khrayyesh Al-Ajmi, is a lady from Kuwait. Together they have two sons:
    • HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa (born 8 May 1987)
    • HH Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa (born 23 September 1989)
  • He also has a third wife, a lady from Qatar, with whom he has two sons and four daughters:
    • HH Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad Al Khalifa (12 February 1992 - 12 January 2006), died in a fatal car accident
    • HH Sheikh Sultan bin Hamad Al Khalifa
    • HH Sheikha Hessa bint Hamad Al Khalifa
    • HH Sheikha Nura bint Hamad Al Khalifa
    • HH Sheikha Munira bint Hamad Al Khalifa
    • HH Sheikha Reema bint Hamad Al Khalifa
  • He does not have any children with his fourth wife, a lady from Qatar.

Titles and styles

Monarchical styles of
The King of Bahrain
Coat of arms of Bahrain.svg
Reference styleHis Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty
Alternative styleSheikh

  • 28 January 1950 – 16 December 1961: Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
  • 16 December 1961 – 27 June 1964: His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
  • 27 June 1964 – 6 March 1999: His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Heir Apparent of Bahrain
  • 6 March 1999 – 14 February 2002: His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Emir of Bahrain
  • 14 February 2002 – present: His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain

Honours and awards

Hamad has received numerous honours, for example:
  • Jordan Grand Cordon of the Order of the Star of Jordan (1 February 1967)
  • Iraq Order of the Two Rivers, 1st class (Iraq, 22 February 1969)
  • Morocco Order of Muhammad (Morocco, 16 October 1970)
  • Jordan Grand Cordon of the Order of the Renaissance (Jordan, 1 September 1972)
  • Egypt Collar of the Order of the Republic of Egypt (24 January 1973)
  • IranCollar of the Order of the Crown (Iran, 28 April 1973)
  • Saudi Arabia Collar of Abdulaziz al Saud (Saudi Arabia, 4 April 1976)
  • Indonesia Star of the Republic of Indonesia, 1st class (8 October 1977)
  • Mauritania Order of the Republic of Mauritania, 1st class (4 April 1978)
  • United Kingdom Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (UK, 15 February 1979)
  • Libya Grand Conqueror of Libya, 1st class (1 September 1979)
  • Republic of Ireland Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (2006)

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