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Brunei's Prince Mateen marries commoner in lavish 10-day celebration

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The world set its eyes on Brunei this week as Prince Abdul Mateen married his long-time partner, Yang Mulia Anisha Rosnah, in the highlight of an extravagant 10-day wedding celebration.

About the newlyweds: Prince Mateen, 32, is the 10th child and fourth son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has ruled Brunei since 1967. The prince, who is sixth in line to the throne, is a British-educated military officer in Brunei's Royal Armed Forces. He was once hailed as one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors and currently has more than 2.7 million Instagram followers.

Meanwhile, his bride Rosnah, 29, is reportedly the granddaughter of a royal adviser. She is an entrepreneur who runs a fashion and tourism company.

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What happened in 10 days: The couple’s wedding began on Jan. 7 with traditional Muslim ceremonies and reportedly ended with a prayer meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16. These ceremonies included the Khatam Quran, where the bride recites the entire Quran, and the Istiadak Berbedak, a “powdering” ceremony in which the couple is blessed by family members by applying paste on their hands.

On Jan. 11, a solemnization ceremony — attended only by male guests, excluding even the bride — took place at the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque to legalize the couple's marriage. Mateen and Rosnah formally exchanged vows at Istana Nurul Iman, the world’s largest residential palace, on Sunday, Jan. 14.

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International attendees: The high-profile wedding saw the attendance of royals and leaders from other governments, such as Bhutan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim were also present.

What this means for Brunei: The royal wedding holds significance for Brunei, a small, oil-rich sultanate in Southeast Asia. With its traditional rituals, it underscores the nation’s adherence to its Islamic roots. The marriage of Prince Mateen to a commoner also demonstrates a blend of tradition and modernity in the country’s evolving social landscape.

 

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