Star Trek may feature many celebs we treat like royalty (including one “Queen” of a space cat). However, there was one time that the actors actually shared their set with a real-life member of the monarchy. In a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment, a real-life royal appeared onscreen during a classic episode of Star Trek: Voyager. In the episode, Investigations, you can see this luminary, who appears as an uncredited extra. Here’s everything you need to know about this monarch, and how he came to be on Star Trek.
The Future King of Jordan Appeared on ‘Star Trek’
The man who would become King Abdullah II of Jordan also had a cameo on Star Trek: Voyager, a fact so surprising that Ripley’s (aka Ripley’s Believe It or Not) commented on the future king’s appearance in a rundown of unusual kingly behavior.
Wondering why the future king never spoke during his cameo appearance? It’s likely due to the fact that he was not a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, and not meant to reflect the future king’s ability to act on camera. According to the SAG FAQ, “A background actor should not speak on camera unless directed to speak by the director or an AD.”
Abdullah Was a Prince at the Time of His ‘Star Trek’ Cameo
— Florence of Arabia 🇪🇺🇫🇷🇩🇪 (@FlorenceGaub) December 7, 2019
The episode in which the future King Abdullah of Jordan appeared was the second season episode, Investigations. That episode originally aired on March 13, 1996. This means that, at the time of his on-screen appearance, he was still a prince. It was not until the passing of his father that Abdullah became King Abdullah II. Prince Abdullah ascended to the throne and became King following the death of his father, King Hussein, in 1999.
According to Buzzfeed’s analysis of the episode, Abdullah’s character was some kind of science officer, with the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade). This is inferred by the color of his uniform, as well as the number of “pips” on his shirt. The Star Trek fan site Redshirts Always Die notes that the cameo appearance was a special surprise, arranged for the then-prince by his US advisor at the time.
King Abdullah Remains a ‘Star Trek’ Fan
'Star Trek' theme park being developed in Jordan: What's your ride wish-list? http://ow.ly/5WqMb
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 5, 2011
The Atlantic notes that King Abdullah II’s Fund for Development is working on a Star Trek theme park in Aqaba, Jordan. The city of Aqaba is a mere 45 minute plane ride from the nation’s capital, Amman.
According to the website for the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, King Abdullah II is a man of many talents. “King Abdullah is a qualified frogman, pilot and a free-fall parachutist,” according to his profile on the embassy site. “His other interests are car racing (he is a former Jordanian National Rally Racing Champion), water sports, scuba diving and collecting ancient weapons and armaments.”
Star Trek isn’t the only American thing this Jordanian royal has developed an appreciation for. King Abdullah II reportedly paid for NJ Governor Chris Christie and his entire family to vacation in Jordan, according to Time. The same report also notes that, in addition to his cameo on Voyager, King Abdullah II has also appeared on The Daily Show.
READ NEXT: How Did Majel Barrett Die?