Brunei’s renowned polo-playing Prince Abdul Mateen, regarded as one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors, is set to tie the knot with his commoner fiancée, Yang Mulia Anisha Rosnah, in a lavish 10-day celebration in the oil-rich sultanate.
The 32-year-old prince, the 10th child of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, will undergo an Islamic marriage ceremony with the 29-year-old commoner inside a gold-domed mosque in the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.
Anisha Rosnah, the granddaughter of one of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s key advisers, is reported to have a fashion brand and co-owns a tourism business.
The royal wedding celebrations will reach their pinnacle on Sunday, featuring a grand ceremony in the 1,788-room palace and an elaborate procession. The guest list is anticipated to include international royalty and political leaders.
The extraordinary wealth of Brunei, derived primarily from its vast oil reserves, is showcased through the opulence and grandeur of this royal event. Brunei, situated on the northern edge of Borneo island in Southeast Asia, converted to Islam in the 14th century after being influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism. The country gained independence from British rule in 1984 and has since been an absolute monarchy with strict Islamic laws.
Despite Brunei’s considerable wealth, analysts have expressed concerns about the need for economic diversification away from oil, especially given the volatility of crude prices and diminishing reserves.
While Prince Abdul Mateen may not ascend to the throne, his matinee idol looks and substantial social media following have positioned him as one of the most high-profile members of the royal family. A helicopter pilot in Brunei’s air force, he graduated from Britain’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and represented his country in polo at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. In addition to his military role, he has played an increasing part in international diplomacy, accompanying his father to significant events such as the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla and Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.