The daughter of the sultan of Brunei, one of the world’s wealthiest men, is set to wed this weekend in a glittering ceremony at the monarch’s 1,700-room palace.
Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, 32, and her groom Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini, 29, exchanged vows yesterday in the tiny oil-rich Muslim sultanate that has been governed for 600 years by the same royal family.
The couple will then be officially presented to the royal court in an elaborate ceremony on Sunday that marks the climax of more than a week of wedding-related festivities.
Southeast Asian leaders and foreign royalty were expected to be among the guests at a lavish royal banquet in honor of the newlyweds in the Islamic sultanate Sunday night, hosted by the bride’s father, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 66.
The palace will not release the full guest list until the day of the banquet, a Brunei government spokesman said Wednesday.
However, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will attend.
The princess who has a degree in business administration, is the fifth child of the sultan and Queen Saleha and works as an officer at the finance ministry.
The groom is a civil servant in the prime minister’s office.
The sultan has 12 children, five sons and seven daughters, from his three marriages, and the wedding is the first involving one of the sultan’s children since 2007.
Such weddings are typically a rare source of excitement in Brunei, which is known for its slow pace of life and lack of nightlife, with alcohol being largely banned under Islamic practice.
The energy wealth has brought Brunei’s citizens, who number fewer than 400,000, one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia.