BRUNEI - His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, yesterday officially started his son's Royal wedding proceedings with the Istiadat Bersuruh Diraja, or Royal marriage proposal ceremony.
The monarch dispatched a Royal entourage to Pg Hj Bolkiah Pg Hj Jaluddin's house to ask for Dk Raabi'atul 'Adawiyyah Pg Hj Bolkiah's hand in marriage, on behalf of His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik.
Steeped in Royal traditions and customs, the ceremony took place at Istana Nurul Iman and at the bride-to-be's residence, Darul Fadhl, on Jalan Permaisuara.
Among the traditions seen at Istana Nurul Iman yesterday were the distribution of bintang petian to aristocrats and dignitaries who were bestowed with titles.
Bintang petian is a small round tray with a kandi (teapot) and two small cups made of wood. The kandi has gold, silver or bronze engravings in accordance to the status of the person present at the ceremony.
The ceremony also saw Awang-awang carrying four candles, Dian Tunggal and later Dian Empat, where the former signified the arrival of His Majesty to the event and the latter symbolised the start of the Royal marriage proposal ceremony.
The tikar, an embroidered Royal mattress covered in silk for Royal family members to sit on, was also used at the ceremony. It is usually made of pandan leaves.
The event began with the arrival of HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, head of the ceremony, who acknowledged that the ceremony was ready to begin as announced by YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, the chief of Adat Istiadat.
His Majesty arrived moments later, along with HRH Crown Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Hj 'Abdul 'Azim, HRH 'Abdul Mateen and HRH Prince 'Abdul Wakeel.
This was followed by YAM Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz instructing YAM Pengiran Indera Setia Diraja Sahibul Karib Pengiran Anak Hj Idris Pengiran Maharaja Lela Pengiran Muda Abdul Kahar to present himself before His Majesty to receive a titah (Royal decree).
In his titah, the monarch gave his approval to YAM Pengiran Anak Hj Idris to lead an entourage to convey the marriage proposal of HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik to Dk Raabi'atul 'Adawiyyah's family at Darul Fadhl.
The entourage then left for Darul Fadhl and was received by the representative of the bride-to-be's family, YAM Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Rahim Pengiran Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak Dr Kemaludin Al-Haj.
Acknowledging His Majesty's message, Head of ceremony at Darul Fadhl YAM Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Rahim accepted the proposal on behalf of the bride-to-be's father, and expressed hopes that the Royal wedding will be carried out smoothly with the blessings of Allah SWT.
Returning to Istana Nurul Iman, YAM Pengiran Anak Hj Idris then announced to His Majesty that the bride-to-be's family has accepted the Royal proposal. A doa selamat was then read out by State Mufti YB Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Abdul Aziz Juned to bless the ceremony.
Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Daud then informed YAM Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz that the Istiadat Bersuruh Diraja had been carried out smoothly. This was conveyed to His Majesty who agreed for the ceremony to conclude.
Also present at the ceremony were Pengiran Cheterias, cabinet ministers, members of the Privy Council, deputy ministers, Pengiran-Pengiran Peranakan, Pehin Manteris, Manteri Pedalaman, foreign diplomats, Legislative Council members, and senior government officials.