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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein (Arabic: عبدالله الثاني بن الحسين) (born 30 January 1962; age 62) is the king of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. An acknowledged fan of Star Trek, King Abdullah (then a prince) appeared as an uncredited extra in the Star Trek: Voyager second season episode "Investigations". Voyager executive producer Jeri Taylor commented, "Take away the title and the trappings, and at the core you have a Star Trek fan." (Star Trek Monthly issue 16)

Abdullah's cameo was arranged as a surprise for him by his US advisor. The prince – who, at the time of his cameo, was thirty-four years old – enthused, "I would have been thrilled just to visit the set but this is too much." After being put into makeup, given pointed sideburns and then fitted for his uniform (a lieutenant of the sciences division), he rehearsed and shot his scene. (TV Guide, 17-23 Feb., p. 26) He appears in the episode's opening scene as a science officer who speaks with Harry Kim as the scene fades in. He was not given any spoken lines, however, because he was not a member of the Screen Actors Guild (now SAG-AFTRA).

After filming his cameo, he was crowded by well-wishers, including Robert Picardo, who secretly presented the delighted guest with an autographed picture of himself in his role of The Doctor. (TV Guide, 17-23 Feb., p. 26) Abdullah subsequently gave a party for the Voyager cast. (Star Trek Monthly issue 16)

During his time on the Star Trek: Voyager set, Abdullah also invited Robert Picardo and Neelix actor Ethan Phillips to his own country of Jordan, an offer that Phillips took up during the hiatus between Voyager's second and third seasons. (Star Trek Monthly issue 20) Picardo also apparently took up the offer, where upon their arrival, Abdullah "arranged tours of the country's historical monuments, he had also laid on a mini-convention of the programme's fans." [1]

As the eldest son of King Hussein bin Talal, Abdullah would've been heir apparent according to the constitution of Jordan, however, because of political instability, his father chose his uncle, Prince Hassan to succeed him in 1965. Abdullah began his schooling in 1966 at the Islamic Educational College in Amman, and continued at St Edmund's School in England. He attended high school at Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States.

Before becoming king, Abdullah spent most of his life in the military. He began his military career at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1980, while he was a training officer in the Jordanian Armed Forces. After Sandhurst, Abdullah was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the British Army and served a year in Britain and West Germany as a troop commander in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars.

In 1982, Abdullah studied Middle Eastern affairs at a one-year special-studies course at Pembroke College, Oxford. Returning home, he joined the Royal Jordanian Army on his return home, serving as first lieutenant and then as platoon commander and assistant commander of a company in the 40th Armored Brigade. In 1994, Abdullah assumed command of Jordan's Special Forces and of other elite units as a brigadier general.

Abdullah accompanied his father on several diplomatic visits, including his trips to the United States and to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. In January 1999, two weeks before his death, King Hussein replaced Prince Hassan with his son as heir apparent, surprising everyone, including Abdullah himself.

Abdullah was crowned King of Jordan following his father's death, in 1999.

In 2011, it was announced that King Abdullah will serve as majority local investor on a large entertainment and attraction resort named Red Sea Astrarium in the Jordanian city of Aquaba, which will host a Star Trek themed space adventure as its centerpiece, under license from CBS Consumer Products. The $1.5 billion project was planned to open in 2014, however, construction stopped in early 2015, and the park was never completed or opened. [2]

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