Under the 1952 Constitution, he was considered heir to his father, but due to the unstable times in the 1960s, his father named his brother, King Abdullah's uncle the heir.
The future king attended to his education at various institutions around the world. He attended St. Edmund's School in Hindhead, Surrey, England from 1964-1975. After that, he moved on to Eaglebrook School and then to Derrfield Academy in the United States. Upon graduation, he went back to England to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he graduated in 1980, and was subsequently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and served as a troop commander in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars. After two years in the military he returned to school, to study Middle Eastern Affairs in a Special one-year studies course at Pembrooke College, Oxford University. In 1987, he moved to the United States to attend the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Upon his return to Jordan, he would serve in the Jordanian forces and would be promoted to Major-General in 1998.
Unsure of his eldest son's capabilities as King, his father consider arranging for the throne to pass to his brother then to his son in the 1980s, however, in 1992, something changed his mind. On his deathbead, on 25 January 1999, he made it clear he wanted his eldest son to inherit the throne. Therefore, that is what happened. Upon the death of his father on 7 February 1999, Prince Abullah became King Abullah II.
Throughout the King's reign there have been many improvements to Jordan. Since his ascendance to the throne, Jordan's economy has grown, and quality of Life of the people of Jordan over all has improved. In 2008, King Abdullah began his Decent Housing for Decent Living campaign in which all Jordanian citizens, and even Palestinian refugees, will be guaranteed high quality residential housing with easy access to community needs such as health, education, and community activities. The King announced on 2 March 2007 municipal elections in Jordan and in 25 November 2006 in his parliament address, told the parliament to work on reforms of the press and publication law. King Abdullah II has worked for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, attending the Arab Summit in 2002, OIC conferences and having several summits with US, Israeli and Palestinian delegations to find a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
For his personal life, he married Rania al Yassin on 10 June 1993. They have two sons and two daughters:
- Crown Prince Hussein (born 28 June 1994)
- Princess Iman (born 27 September 1996)
- Princess Salma (born 26 September 2000)
- Prince Hashem (born 30 January 2005)