Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lavish royal wedding celebrations get underway in Brunei

Excitement in Brunei approached fever pitch this week as the lavish wedding celebrations for the Sultan's daughter, Princess Hajah Bulqiah, began. Wearing a traditional baju kurung - an embroidered long-sleeved tunic worn with a sarong - the 31-year-old princess took centre stage in the Royal Palace's spectacular gilded throne room for the solemnisation of marriage ceremony with her groom Khairul Khalil.In line with royal tradition, Khairul's parents, the princess' father, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and his two wives, plus other members of the royal family, stepped up to dab coloured paste onto the palms of the bride-to-be's hands. They had a choice of seven different colours, which were laid out on crystal plates. Thursday's ceremony was just one of a series of events which will take place over a two-week period to mark the union. Its highlight will be the royal wedding ceremony on June 10, when Princess Hajah and her husband will be blessed. The following evening a lavish banquet will be hosted in an open-air marquee in the grounds of the Royal Palace.The royal couple, who both studied at British universities, live in the UK where they hold government posts.