The Prince of Brunei, Abdul Mateen, who was considered one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors, married his fiancee Yang Mulia Anisha Rosnah, a commoner, on Thursday. The ceremony was held in a male-only ceremony at a mosque in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan, according to a report by news agency Agence France-Presse.
Their marriage festivities, held according to Islamic traditions, began on January 7 and will end on January 16 (Tuesday).
The main wedding reception will be held on Sunday at the 1,788-room palace and will see an array of international royalty and dignitaries, along with a parade through Bandar Sri Begawan.
Mateen, 32, is the tenth child of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah – the world’s longest reigning monarch and once the richest man on the planet. The Prince is sixth in line to the throne and has gained prominence in recent years accompanying his father on diplomatic engagements.
His 29-year-old bride is the granddaughter of one of his father’s key advisers and reportedly has a fashion brand and co-owns a tourism business.
Mateen and Anisha’s engagement was announced by the Sultan in October 2023.
MATEEN BUILDS PUBLIC RELATIONS ON INSTAGRAM
Abdul Mateen is unlikely to ascend the throne of the oil-rich country on the northern edge of Borneo island. However, his carefully curated Instagram profile with 2.5 million followers has turned him into a public relations asset for the royal family, which has been battered by scandals and global censure over the years.
The prince, who is a helicopter pilot in his country’s air force and also trained in the special forces, often posts pictures of himself playing polo, boxing in a ring, dabbling in photography, and posing in military uniform.
Mustafa Izzuddin, a visiting professor of international relations at the Islamic University of Indonesia told AFP, “Prince Mateen would be what I describe as an important youth change-maker in Brunei society.” He added that the prince is adept at connecting with the younger folk.
After more than five decades on the throne, the 77-year-old sultan needed to “refresh the social contract” between himself and his 450,000 subjects, said Izzuddin.
The absolute monarchy has seen its reputation tarnished in recent decades after a falling out between the sultan and his younger brother and a global backlash in 2019 when sharia law was added to its penal code allowing death by stoning and amputation for certain crimes.
Mateen, who often accompanies his father on official visits abroad wearing Western-style suits, appears to be leading the way in winning over young hearts and minds.
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