Thursday, September 09, 2004

Asian Wedding of the Year


The so called Asian wedding of the year went off without a hitch (well, maybe some tropical rain) as Oxford educated Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, son of son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah � the absolute ruler of 350,000 subjects, married Dayangku Sarah binti Pengiran Salleh Ab Rahaman at the throne room of the Istana Nurul Iman royal palace. As we noted yesterday, the Crown Prince of Brunei married. This was considered Asia's most lavish wedding since the 1993 nups of Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito to commoner Masako Owada.

According to Hello! Magazine:

"The tiny sultanate of Brunei erupted in a frenzy of colour and celebration on Thursday, when Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee tied the knot with 17-year-old student Sarah Salleh. Over 2,000 guests were on hand to see the 30-year-old make his vows at the royal palace in Bandar Seri Begawan, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's 1,788-room Istana palace. Royals from all over Asia (and this is the year of Asia, what, with China and India's massive economic growth), including Prince Naruhito of Japan and King Hamad of Bahrain, were among those present. The British royal family was also represented, by the Duke of Gloucester."

The Corsair cannot fail to note also, Prince Richard of the United Kingdom, Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri, Philippine President Gloria Macaparal Arroyo.

"The groom wore a gold crown and a traditional snake-bladed dagger for the ceremony, while his bride was dressed in a blaze of blue and gold. Her glittering Malay outfit was accessorised with drop earrings with diamonds the size of olives and topped by a sparkling tiara. After the service, which was conducted by a senior Islamic cleric, the couple kissed the Sultan's hand as they received his blessing.

"Afterwards the newlyweds made their way through the capital in a gold, open-topped Rolls-Royce. Thousands of well-wishers lined the streets as their car, which was followed by over 100 limousines, crawled through the city. The festivities will continue throughout Friday, when the Sultan hosts a huge feast in the palace's 4,000-seat banquet hall."

All this and Chinese Vogue. This is truly the year of Asia.

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