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Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien (Bandar Seri Begawan, July 15, 1946) is the current Sultan of Brunei. It’s number 29 on its line since the 14th century.
Muda Hassanal was born on July 15, 1946 in Brunei Town (today Bandar Seri Begawan).
Because Brunei was a protectorate of the United Kingdom until 1984, he was subordinated to Queen Elizabeth II until that date.
The Sultan did his secondary studies at the Victoria Institution Premier School in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), where he joined the Cadet Corps. After receiving a private education in Brunei, he attended the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst in October 1967, but had to return home to be crowned a few months before his graduation. Hassanal, being the eldest of the family, became Prince for the Crown in 1961 and ascended the throne on October 5, 1967, following the voluntary abdication of his father, Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien. It was Muda who in 1979 began talks with Britain to end British rule in Brunei, achieving independence in January 1984.
The Magna Carta of Brunei states that its maximum representative:
You can never make a mistake as a private person or in your official capacity.
The media are muzzled by a press law requiring all newspapers to obtain an annual permit from the Ministry of the Interior and a deposit of 100 000 Brunei dollars (65 000 euros). In addition, it provides for prison terms of up to three months for the disclosure of “false news”.
The Sultan, after marrying three times, currently has only one wife, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, who was the first (married since 1965), and is also his first cousin.
Of his second wife, who was a Singapore Airlines cabin crew member, Pengiran Isteri Hajah Mariam, he divorced in 2003, after withdrawing all his royal titles. They married in 1982.
After getting married in August 2005 with Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, a TV3 presenter from Malaysia 33 years younger, she concluded this marriage in 2010, after withdrawing all her royal titles.
Currently has 17 children.
- With Pengiran Anak Saleha:
- Princess Rashidah (July 26, 1969).
- Princess Muta-Wakkilah (October 12, 1971).
- Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah (February 17, 1974).
- Princess Majeedah Nuurul (March 16, 1976).
- Princess Hafizah (March 12, 1980).
- Prince ‘Abdul Malik (June 30, 1983).
- With Pengiran Isteri Hajah Mariam: divorced in 2003.
- Prince ‘Abdul’ Azim (July 29, 1982).
- Princess’ Azemah (September 26, 1984).
- Princess Fadzillah (August 23, 1985).
- Prince ‘Abdul Mateen (August 10, 1991).
- With Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim: divorced in 2010.
- Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel (June 1, 2006).
- Princess Ameerah (January 28, 2008).
Bolkiah serves simultaneously as Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Minister of Finance and head of the Islamic religion in Brunei.
The oil crisis of 1973 made him the richest man in the world and for more than a decade he led the list of millionaires of Forbes magazine.
The Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the squandering of the royal family considerably reduced the Sultan’s fortune. Since then he has lost many positions in the Forbes list, although he remains the richest monarch. His current fortune is estimated at around 16 000 million euros. But that crisis staggered the Brunei government and led the sultan to take over as finance minister.
The 409 000 inhabitants of Brunei have free health and education. They are exempt from paying personal taxes. They have housing assistance. The price of rice is subsidized because it is the main food of the country.
Sultan Bolkiah is renowned for his luxurious, prosperous and extravagant lifestyle, as well as his generosity to his servants. He pays millionaires salaries to his advisors and neighbors, and among his numerous possessions is the Palace Hotel of New York, as well as those in charge of his public image, palace supervisors, sports instructors, the guards of his exotic birds, etc.
It also has thousands of sports cars, as well as airplanes and helicopters. Its palace, larger than the Vatican City, has golden vaults, more than 1800 rooms, more than 290 bathrooms and a banquet room with capacity for thousands of people. The palace has 200,000 square meters, making it the second largest palace behind the Palace of the Forbidden City in Beijing (720,000 m2).
It has around 5 000 sports cars: 130 Rolls Royces, 531 Mercedes-Benz, 367 Ferraris -including 6 FX-, 362 Bentleys, 185 BMWs, 177 Jaguars, 160 Porsches, 20 Lamborghinis.
Hassanal Bolkiah owns 8 McLaren F1 of the 100 that were made. The price of each one was 970 000 dollars. In his day it was the fastest serial car in the world.
It has 6 airplanes, two helicopters and a Boeing 747.
Bruneian honorary distinctions
- Royal Family Order of the Brunei Crown – Darjah Kerabat Mahkota Brunei – D.K.M.B. **
- Brunei Family Order [First Class] – Darjah Kerabat Laila Utama Yang Amat Dihormati – D.K. (Laila Utama)
- Brunei Family Order [Second Class] – Darjah Kerabat Seri Utama Yang Amat Dihormati – D.K. (Seri Utama)
- Order of the Islamic Religion of Brunei State [First Class] – Darjah Seri Ugama Islam Negara Brunei Yang Amat Bersinar Darjah Pertama – P.S.S.U.B. *
- Order of the Splendid Value [First Class] – Darjah Paduka Laila Jasa Keberanian Gemilang Yang Amat Cemerlang Darjah Pertama – D.P.K.G. *
- Order of Famous Value [First Class] – Darjah Paduka Keberanian Laila Terbilang Yang Amat Gemilang Darjah Pertama – D.P.K.T. *
- Order of the Brunei State Hero [First Class] – Darjah Pahlawan Negara Brunei Yang Amat Perkasa Darjah Pertama – P.S.P.N.B.
- Order of the Loyalty of Brunei State [First Class] – Darjah Setia Negara Brunei Yang Amat Bahagia Darjah Pertama – P.S.N.B.
- Brunei’s Order of Merit [First Class] – Darjah Paduka Seri Laila Jasa Yang Amat Berjasa Darjah Pertama – P.S.L.J.
- Order of the Crown of Brunei [First Class] – Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Brunei Yang Amat Mulia Darjah Pertama – S.P.M.B.
- Brigade State Order of the Brunei [First Class] – Darjah Perwira Agong Negara Brunei Yang Amat Setia Darjah Pertama – P.A.N.B.
N.B. * decoration founded by the sultan on August 1, 1968 & nbsp ;; ** = decoration founded by the sultan on August 15, 1982
More Facts about Hassanal Bolkiah
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