The wedding of His Majesty’s daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil bin Pengiran Syed Haji Jaafari culminated, Sunday with the ‘Majlis Istiadat Bersanding Pengantin Diraja’ or Sitting-in-State of the newlyweds. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and Her Royal Highness, Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar, attended the glittering ceremony which took place at the Balai Singgahsana Indera Buana, the Throne Room of the Istana Nurul Iman. The ceremony was also graced by His Majesty’s foreign guests. Among them were the Deputy Minister of Malaysia, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Haji Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak and his wife, and the Chief Minister of Sabah, Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Musa bin Haji Aman and his wife.
The ‘Majlis Istiadat Bersanding Pengantin Diraja’ began with a send-off ceremony of the groom at his residence Darul Karamah in Kampung Beribi. Before departing for Istana Nurul Iman for the ‘Bersanding Diraja’ or sitting together of the bride and groom, Doa Selamat was read by Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar. The groom’s entourage was led by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim.
At Istana Nurul Iman, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar, proceeded to Balai Singgahsana Indera Buana, the Throne Room, for the ceremony. Also present were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad Bolkiah and Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah and other members of the Royal Family. The ceremony was also graced by His Majesty’s foreign guests.
Soon after, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah entered the Balai Singgahsana Indera Buana escorted by Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna. Leading them were 40 ‘Sinipit’, followed by ‘Hulubalang Diraja’ carrying ‘Pemuras’ and ‘Karga’, and ‘Hulubalang Asgar’ carrying ‘Kalasak’ and ‘Kampilan’.
‘Dian Tunggal’ or Single Candle was carried ahead of the bride followed by the Princesses regalias such as ‘Payung’ or Umbrella, ‘Kaskol’ and ‘Kain Pendukungan’. They were followed by ‘Pengangun Pengantin Diraja’ or Lady-in-Attendance and wives of State Dignitaries. Several other regalias were also borne by ‘Dayang-Dayang’ including ‘Kaskol’, ‘Langguai’ and seven ‘Pahawai’ carrying ‘Puan’, ‘Tarian’, ‘Kabok’ and ‘Panastan’, ‘Kiap’, ‘Chupu’ and ‘Pesigupan’. Also accompanying the delegation were ‘Dian’ 16, 16 ‘Pedang’ and ‘Perisai’, 16 ‘Tumbak Bendarangan’ and 8 ‘Kabok’ and ‘Panastan’.
Meanwhile, upon arrival at the entrance of Istana Nurul Iman, the groom, in keeping with age-old Malay tradition, was escorted to walk in a circle three times, in what is called ‘Putar Naga’ or Dragon Whirl. And this was followed with the groom being sprinkled with ‘Ganggang Sirih’ or Betel Leaf Cuttings and Scented Flowers called ‘Bunga Rampai’. The ‘Istiadat Basuh Kaki’ or the Ritual of Pouring Water over the Groom’s Feet was also observed. The groom then entered the Balai Singgahsana Indera Buana accompanied by an array of regalias.
The State Mufti, Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Awang Haji Abdul Aziz then took over the solemn responsibility of escorting the bridegroom down the aisle to the ‘Pelamin’ or sitting-in-state dais.
In accordance with Muslim customs, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam took the bridegroom’s right hand and placed it gently on the bride’s head, to signify the official union of the royal couple. The ‘Istiadat Bersanding’ is the culmination of the dazzling royal wedding. The ‘Selawat’, or greetings to Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him), was uttered as a 17 gun salute resounded.
Doa Selamat followed, read by the State Mufti, Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Awang Haji Abdul Aziz.
The royal wedding ceremony was further etched in Brunei’s history for the Royal Bridegroom as he was bestowed his official royal title by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. The Letter of Proclamation was read out by Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz. It was declared that as from Sunday, the groom would now be known as Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil.
His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Malik then led the royal newly-weds out of the Balai Singgahsana Indera Buana.
(11th June 2007)