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The Chic vs the Sheik: Glamorous Princess Haya is back at High Court to hear if details of custody battle for her children with billionaire Dubai ruler husband Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will be kept SECRET

  • Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein is the sixth wife of Sheik Mohammed al-Maktoum 
  • She fled ruler of Dubai husband this year and has been living in London mansion 
  • Princess Haya is trying to get protection order used in domestic violence cases 
  • She claims one of her children is at risk of being forced into arranged marriage 
  • Hearing at the High Court today is for media to ask to report the case
  • But Sheik Mohammed has stayed away from High Court in London yet again

A smiling Princess Haya is back at the High Court today for the latest round in her legal battle with her estranged Sheik husband over custody of their children and protecting them from forced marriage.

The costly row between the billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Jordan-born Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, is taking place in London.

Haya, 45, who is the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan and is Sheik Mohammed’s sixth wife, claims to have fled Dubai with their two children ‘in fear of her life’ after becoming estranged from her husband.

The case is being heard by the president of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, and is not related to any financial matters or a divorce, which could be worth up to £4.5billion. 

Today Sir Andrew is hearing submissions from the media about reporting details of the high-profile case.

So far Britain’s top family judge has only allowed the press to report that 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. 

Haya was again accompanied by her lawyer Fiona Stapleton, the powerhouse divorce solicitor Fiona Shackleton, nicknamed Steel Magnolia, who rubbed her arm
Princess Haya is in Britain with the couple’s two children and is set for a bitter child custody battle with her 70-year-old billionaire racehorse owner husband (pictured together in June 2008 at Ascot before their relationship broke down)

Latifa wanted us to continue to fight for her freedom and to tell her story around the world to inspire others. “If I don’t make it out, I really hope there’s some positive change that will happen from all of this,”she said in the remarkable 45+minute video she recorded before her daring escape attempt in February 2018.

These can be made to protect a person from being forced into a marriage and could, for example, prevent someone being taken abroad for a wedding.

A ruling is believed to be imminent. 

There was no sign of her billionaire husband for the hearing before the President of the Family Division again today. 

Sheik Mohammed, who turned 70 in July, is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

He is also the founder of the successful Godolphin horse racing stable and received a trophy from the Queen after one of his horses won a race at Royal Ascot earlier this year.

The high-profile case will be heard by the president of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane.

Princess Haya wed the sheik, who is also vice-president of the UAE, in 2004 in what was believed to be his sixth marriage. He has more than 20 children by different wives.

She is the daughter of Jordan’s late king Hussein and Queen Alia, a popular figure with Palestinian roots who died in a helicopter crash in 1977.

Sources claimed this year that Princess Haya fled after learning ‘disturbing facts’ about the Sheik’s treatment of his daughter Latifa, 33, pictured, who campaigners say is being ‘held prisoner’ in Dubai after a failed escape attempt

Sheik Mohammed has since shared a number of poems on social media describing ‘overcoming life’s challenges’.

A preliminary hearing in July was told that Princess Haya has applied for a forced marriage protection order in relation to the children.

Such an order can be made to protect a person from being forced into a marriage and could, for example, prevent someone being taken abroad.

At that hearing, Sir Andrew allowed the media to report that Princess Haya has applied for a non-molestation order.

Sir Andrew rejected an application by Sheik Mohammed’s lawyers for those details to be subject to reporting restrictions.

Princess Haya and Sheik Mohammed – who married in 2004 – had issued a statement confirming they are parties to proceedings before the court following an earlier private hearing.

The statement said: ‘These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances.’

Sheik Mohammed has been represented at preliminary hearings by Lord Pannick QC, who acted for Gina Miller in the landmark Supreme Court case over the prorogation of Parliament, and Lady Helen Ward, a solicitor who represented director Guy Ritchie in his divorce from Madonna.

Her legal team includes Baroness Shackleton, who represented the Prince of Wales during his divorce from Diana, and Sir Paul McCartney in his divorce from Heather Mills.

Flowers, a close protection officer (pictured at Ascot last year with Princess Haya and Sheik Mohammed) worked for the Princess for five years where the pair struck up a close friendship

Battle of the big-money briefs: Ruler of Dubai and his on-the-run wife bring in two of London’s most famous divorce lawyers as they prepare to go war over his billions

By Joe Middleton for MailOnline

The ruler of Dubai and his wife have brought in two of London’s most famous divorce lawyers as they prepare to go to war over his billions after the issues with their offspring are resolved.

Oxford educated Princess Haya Al Hussein fled the country with her children after the break up of her marriage with billionaire Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Princess Haya hired Baroness Shackleton, who has represented Prince Charles and Sir Paul McCartney.

Meanwhile Sheik Mohammed has employed Helen Ward who represented Guy Ritchie when he was divorcing Madonna.

The hiring of two of London’s most reputable and famous lawyers indicates the capital is the likely venue for is likely to be one an obscenely expensive and fiercely contested divorce and custody battles in the capital’s history.

Baroness Shackleton is known as the ‘Steel Magnolia’, for her charm and determination, after securing the Prince of Wales a divorce settlement in 1996.

She also represented Sir Paul McCartney in his divorce, and famously had a glass of water thrown over her by Heather Mills.

Baroness Shackleton became a life peer sitting on the Tory benches in 2010 and remains the personal solicitor of Princes William and Harry.

Meanwhile Lady Ward, who works for Stewart’s Law of London, is known for her sharp intelligence and work ethic, previously claiming she worked 17 or 18 hour days ‘if I have to.’

Lady Ward was also represented Bernie Ecclestone in his £2bn divorce battle with ex-wife Slavica, at the High Court in 2009.

Sheik Mohammed has been represented at preliminary hearings by Lord Pannick QC, who acted for Gina Miller in the landmark Supreme Court case over the prorogation of Parliament where Boris Johnson was defeated.19

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