Brunei celebrates Royal Wedding
By Azlan Othman & Sonia K

A glittering ceremony of the much awaited sitting-in-state of the Royal Wedding between Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah and YAM Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil bin Pengiran Syed Hj Jaafari was held yesterday at the throne room of Istana Nurul Iman.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Saleha and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar attended the ceremony, called "Istiadat Bersanding Pengantin Diraja".

Also in attendance were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, Pg Bini Hjh Faizah and other members of the royal family.

Among the foreign guests who attended the ceremony were Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as well as Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

The ceremony began with Pehin Dato Dr Hj Awg Hussain informing YAM Pg Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pg Anak Hj Abdul Aziz that the ceremony was ready to proceed. YAM Pg Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah then informed His Majesty.

His Majesty asked HRH Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Hjh Zariah, HRH Princess Hjh Masna and wife of state dignitaries to bring HRH Princess Hjh Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah to the 'Balai Singgahsana Indera Buana', the throne room.

Royal regalia accompanied the entourage to the throne room, including people carrying 40 Sinipit, Pemura and Karga, Klasak and Kampilan, ceremonial candle, Kaskol, Kain Pendukungan, Kaskol Langguai, Kabok & Penastan, Kiap, Chupu, Pasigupan, Pedang & Perisai and Tumbak Bendarangan.

Then, Pg Indera Setia Diraja Sahibul Karib Pg Anak Hj Idris went to the gate of the palace to welcome the entourage of the groom. Upon arrival at the Istana Nurul Iman, the groom performed a 'Putar Naga Ceremony', whereby the groom was made to turn anticlockwise on the spot three times. The groom was then led into the Istana, together with his delegation.

Before entering the Istana, the groom was involved in another ceremony called 'membasuh kaki' - the washing of the groom's feet with water filled in a special kiri (receptacle resembling a pitcher), which was followed by the sprinkling of yellow rice parried with a kiap (a kind of fan).

Upon entering the throne room of the palace, the groom was escorted by Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz, the State Mufti. Royal regalia also accompanied the groom's entourage.

The royal couple was clad in embroidered red traditional suits with the bride wearing a tiara over her red veil and clutching a bouquet laced with precious stones.

Upon reaching the throne room, His Majesty, dressed in army attire, helped place the right hand of YAM Pg Anak Khairul Khalil on the head of HRH Princess Hjh Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, which was accompanied by 17 cannon blasts.

The sitting-in-state ceremony began with 'Salawat', glorifying Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), by the state mufti.

YAM Pg Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah read an official announcement stating that YM Pengiran Khairul Khalil is now known as YAM Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil.

HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik then accompanied the newly wed couple to the special room before the royal procession around the town area.

Thousands of school students and uniformed personnel lined the streets leading to the town area since early morning, waving the yellow flags to catch a glimpse of the royal couple driven in a special motorcade. Tents were also erected at the side of the roads where traditional musical instruments were played.

The procession was accompanied by royal regalia, notably 'Gendang Arak-Arakan', Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Police Force band contingents. His Majesty, Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness and other members of the royal family also accompanied the procession.

Today, a State Banquet will be held at Istana Nurul Iman followed by "Istiadat Pengantin Diraja Muleh Tiga Hari" on June 13, a ceremony held three days after the sitting-in-state ceremony. - Borneo Bulletin (11th June 2007)