Princess Haya arrived at the High Court today where she is battling her estranged husband, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum over custody of their children and to prevent one being forced into an arranged marriage.
This comes months after it was reported that the Dubai ruler suspects his wife of having “inappropriate contact” with her British bodyguard when he found them together during a surprise visit to their London home.
The Jordan-born royal, 45, claims to have fled Dubai with their two children “in fear of her life” after becoming estranged from the 70-year-old billionaire ruler of Dubai.
Today, November 12, the estranged couple battled at the High Court in London in a full family division hearing with the case expected to last until the end of the week.
Though Princess Haya attended the court hearing, the Sheik stayed away again.
It is being heard by the president of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, and is not related to any financial matters or a divorce.
Princess Haya has applied for a non-molestation order – designed to help victims of domestic violence keep abusers away – and a forced marriage protection order in relation to the children. These can be made to protect a person from being forced into a marriage and could also prevent someone from being taken abroad for a wedding. The issue of custody will also be decided in a ruling expected later this month.
There was no sign of her billionaire husband for the hearing before the President of the Family Division. This is the third time Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has failed to attend a hearing that will determine the fate of his two children.
The case was adjourned at 3pm until tomorrow morning with any reporting of today’s hearing banned, Daily Mail reports.
The press is not allowed to report the names and ages of the children or most details of the proceedings being published until after the judgment in the coming weeks. Even witnesses due to attend cannot be identified.
Princess Haya and Sheik Mohammed got married in 2004, in what is believed to be the Sheik’s 6th marriage. Sheik Mohammed is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.