Former Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina has shared details on her Instagram about her first meeting with former husband Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan, days after hinting that she is ready to tell all about their brief marriage.
The 27-year-old, whose marriage to the former Malaysian King and subsequent divorce has attracted much public attention this year, shared the post on Wednesday (Sept 4) which was accompanied by a candid photo of the couple.
In the photo, the pair are seen having a candle-lit dinner with the Sultan playfully making the peace sign gesture above Ms Voevodina's head.
The couple were said to have married on June 7 last year when Sultan Muhammad V was the Malaysian King, but it was only months later that video clips of their wedding reception made the rounds internationally.
News of the end of their whirlwind marriage broke in July, with the Sultan's Singapore lawyer confirming to The Straits Times on July 20 that the divorce was carried out in Singapore on June 22 in accordance with Syariah laws.
Ms Voevodina, who also goes by the name Rihana Oksana Petra, said on Wednesday she knew instantly that Sultan Muhammad V would be the father of her children when they met.
The former Miss Moscow said he told her that "women always used him for money" and that having children "was the biggest dream of his life".
She recounted that on one occasion after moving to Malaysia with the Sultan, he appeared to her in his traditional costume and then laid out a Muslim prayer mat. Ms Voevodina said it was the first time she had seen the Muslim prayer being performed in front of her.
Ms Voevodina had previously said that she met the Sultan at an event in the spring of 2017 in Europe through their common friend jeweler Jacob Arabo and that the two then went for dinner afterwards.
"After the event, we went for dinner, where I met a man, and he introduced himself as king of Malaysia. I took it as a joke and joked back that I was also the queen of Moscow," she wrote in June.
Ms Voevodina has been coy about her relationship with the Sultan, refusing to directly address media speculation about their split and at times insisting that the pair were still married.
Even as numerous reports about their break-up swirled in the media, she continued to post carefully obscured photos of their son Ismail Leon, who was born on May 21, and share her experiences on motherhood as well as anecdotes about her royal romance.
But Ms Voevodina began hinting at opening up about her marriage three days ago. Writing in a post accompanied by a wefie shot of the couple, Ms Voevodina said: "Before, I was not ready to reveal my story... Maybe, if I tell you the truth, I will feel better...but I just don't want to hurt anyone,"she wrote.
The Sultan's lawyer had told The Straits Times that a divorce certificate was issued on July 1 after the split was approved by the Kelantan Syariah Court.
Mr Koh Tien Hua of Eversheds Harry Elias LLP had also said that "there was no objective evidence as yet as to the biological father of the child" and asked that his client's request for privacy be respected.
Sultan Muhammad V has kept mum on the relationship and made few public appearances since his surprise move to step down on Jan 6, becoming the first monarch in the country's history to abdicate.
He had ascended the throne in December 2016 and was meant to serve for five years under a rotating monarchy system shared between the country's nine royal households.
He previously appeared in a video interview that Ms Voevodina posted saying that family was his top priority "because the children carry on your legacy".
"For me, the two most important (things) are patience and understanding," he added in the video. "Love is good... But after 15, 20 years, the patience and understanding is going to take over the love."
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.