Newly-wed couple, Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah and his Princess Sarah Salleh recite a prayer during their royal wedding ceremory at Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The wedding has been touted as Asia's wedding of the year. --    2006 AP  

Brunei's Crown Prince weds commoner
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Brunei) - The future king of the oil-rich sultanate of Brunei married a 17-year-old half-Swiss commoner on Thursday in Asia's wedding of the year, attended by royalty and dignitaries from around the world

Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah, 30, son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - the absolute and fabulously wealthy ruler of 350,000 subjects - wed Ms Sarah Salleh before 2,000 people in a traditional Malay Muslim ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman, the 1,788-room main palace.

The Sultan escorted the Prince - wearing a gold crown and a kris dagger tucked into his sash - to a golden chair on the dais. He was joined by his bride, who emerged from a stateroom more than an hour behind schedule.

The Prince placed a hand on her diamond tiara as Muslim marriage prayers were recited for the centuries-old ceremony. She stood radiant in an embroidered blue dress and veil and clasped a gold-and-diamond bouquet. They then descended from the dais and kissed the Sultan for his blessing.

The couple embarked in an open gold-coloured, Rolls-Royce stretch limousine for an eight-kilometre parade across the capital, accompanied by 103 limousines and vehicles carrying family members as a marching band played.

But a tropical downpour soaked the couple, despite footmen walking alongside their vehicle with umbrellas. Thousands of people, many who had lined the streets since daybreak, scurried for cover after catching a glimpse of the motorcade.

Despite a heavy rain, Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah and his bride Sarah Salleh ride in a motorcade as they drive past the crowds after the wedding ceremony at the Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan. -- AP

Earlier, a 21-gun salute sounded as Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, Bahrain's King Hamad, the Duke of Gloucester Prince Richard and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia arrived and took their seats on gold-trimmed chairs in the cavernous, chandelier-lined, main hall at the palace.

South-east Asian guests included Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Presidents Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia and Mrs Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia were also present.

The ceremony caps two weeks of official celebrations taking place in one of Asia's smallest but richest countries, which shares Borneo island with Malaysia and Indonesia. An extravagant banquet for the guests is scheduled for Friday followed by a fireworks display. -- 2004 September 10    AP  

Brunei Gears up for Lavish Wedding

According to Hello! magazine  The tiny Pacific nation of Brunei is making final preparations for a truly magnificent royal wedding. Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah will marry Dayangku Sarah on Thursday in what promises to be one of the most spectacular celebrations in recent memory.

Top royals and dignitaries from all over the world are expected to attend a banquet the following day, September 10. And in accordance with Brunei tradition, the festivities are already well underway. A $200,000 fireworks extravaganza planned for the night itself will mark the culmination of a 14-day party which began on August 26.

Prince Al-Muhtadee will one day accede to the throne of his oil-rich nation. The 30-year-old, who studied politics and international law at Oxford, was officially named as successor by his father, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, in 1998.

His bride-to-be, meanwhile, is still studying at a local university. The 17-year-old, who lists rock-climbing and scuba diving among her hobbies, showed off her penchant for designer labels by wearing a Dior T-shirt in recent press photos. But the teenager was sporting rather more traditional attire when she took part in a dress rehearsal for her wedding at the royal palace in Bandar Seri Begawan. - 7 Sept 2004   Hello!


This is an email in circulation so we cannot verify the accuracy of the contents but apparently the following are pictures of the Sultan of Brunei's private jet.  

This message and the pics are from a Retired AF Lt. General who apparently wrote:

"I toured this aircraft as it was being "remodeled" in Waco, Texas. Yes, the sinks are solid gold and one of them is Lalique crystal. The Sultan bought the aircraft for roughly $100M, then had it flown to Waco, brand-new, from the Boeing factory. He had the interior completely removed and had the folks at E-Systems (now Raytheon) install $120M worth of improvements inside and outside. I've gained entrance to nuclear weapons storage areas much easier than gaining entrance to see this airplane!"



a gold-plated (or solid?) fawcet and basin....


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