Learning How To Be King

"The things is," says His Majesty Abdullah II, the 38-year-old king of Jordan and 43rd-generation direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad, "is that I've become a bit like Elvis."

People see him where he ain't, in other words.

"There are sightings all over the place," he says. Since ascending the Hashemite throne last February, Abdullah has made it a habit to inspect his kingdom in mufti. "The bureaucrats are terrified. It's great."

Today, Elvis is flying to Zarqa, outside of Amman, in one of the Royal Squadron Black Hawk helicopters--like his father, the late King Hussein, he is his own pilot. Once in Zarqa, he will execute a quick costume change and then pay surprise visits to the city's public hospital and to the local offices of the finance ministry.
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