Birth of a Prince
By M K Anwar

The people of Brunei responded with spontaneous joy following the official announcement that Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Sarah has safely given birth to a prince yesterday.

The announcement from Istana Nurul Iman stated that by Command of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, YAM Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Hj Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Hj Abu Bakar, Grand Chamberlain, announced that Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Sarah binti Pg Salleh Ab Rahaman, the wife of His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah the Crown Prince, has safely given birth to a prince on Saturday, 27 Safar 1428 Hijrah corresponding to March 17, 2007, at 3.50pm.

Following with royal tradition, a 19-gun salute was fired yesterday afternoon at the vicinity of the Istana Nurul Iman.

HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah married in September 2004. HRH the Crown Prince is the third child of His Majesty the Sultan and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha. HRH Pg Anak Sarah, meanwhile, is the third and youngest child of Pengiran Salleh Ab Rahaman bin Pengiran Haji Damit and Rinawaty binti Abdullah.

HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah in August of 1998 was proclaimed the Crown Prince, and was appointed by His Majesty as Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office in May 2005.

The news has been eagerly awaited by members of the public who have been hearing of a royal birth this week. Those living near Istana Nurul Iman knew what was coming when the firing of the 19-gun salute was made.

The announcement made on the radio soon afterwards created a buzz among the public as they relayed the news to one another by SMS. For many, yesterday was a joyful occasion to celebrate the birth of a new member of the royal family. Born to the future sultan of Brunei Darussalam, the new prince undoubtedly is another who will continue the lineage of the royal family. HRH the Crown Prince was born on February 17, 1974 and celebrated his birthday a month ago. Thirty-two years ago, his birth was also welcomed with a 19-gun salute and an announced 14 days of celebration. (18th March 2007)