HomeWho is Hassanal Bolkiah? Everything About the Sultan of Brunei

Who is Hassanal Bolkiah? Everything About the Sultan of Brunei

Even though the title of the world’s richest person switches every few years between tech titans but the real meaning of richness is if it is spent lavishly with both hands.

There are few such people who are born to rule and live a luxurious life and one such person who falls in this category is Hassanal Bolkiah.

Over the last many decades, many countries across the world have transitioned from Monarchy to Democracy, however, there are still several countries where the king is in power. Brunei, from the Asian continent, is one among them.

Below is all that you need to know about Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei in our article today. Stay hooked!

Everything about Hassanal Bolkiah & his Lavish Lifestyle

Hassanal Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III is present and the 29th Sultan of Brunei for more than five decades since 1967. He is also the Prime Minister of Brunei ever since it achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1984.

He is elder son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III and Raja Isteri (Queen) Pengiran Anak Damit. He became the Sultan of Brunei after his father renounced his throne on 5 October 1967.

Net Worth

The Sultan of Brunei is ranked among the world’s wealthiest individuals and at second position in the list of richest monarchs and family members across the globe.

According to the Celebrity net worth, he has an estimated net worth of $30 billion as of 2022.

The major contribution to his net worth is because of earnings from oil reserves and natural gas.

He is the world’s second-longest reigning monarch after Queen Elizabeth II. He celebrated his Golden Jubilee to mark the 50th year of his reign on the throne in 2017.

Early life

Pengiran Muda (Prince) Hassanal Bolkiah was born in the year 1946 in Istana Darussalam, Brunei Town. He studied at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur and then went to study his graduation at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom in 1967.

Reign

His coronation was held on 1 August 1968, and he was made the Yang di-Pertuan (Head of State) of Brunei. He has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. He remained as a protectorate of Brunei until its independence from the UK in 1984.

According to the constitution of Brunei which was created in 1959, the Sultan is the head of state. He has the full executive authority, including emergency powers granted to him for more than 6 decades now since 1962.

The ultimate leader of Brunei

The constitution was amended by Sultan in 2006 to make himself infallible under Bruneian law. Bolkiah who is also Prime Minister of Brunei is head of government as well. At the time of writing this article, he holds key ministries like Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Finance.

This makes him the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in his capacity as Minister of Defence. He appointed himself as Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Royal Brunei Police Force.

In 1984, Brunei Darussalam became a member of the United Nations and Bolkiah addressed the United Nations General Assembly. A few years later he introduced a conservative ideology called Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) in 1991. According to the ideology, the Monarch is the defender of the faith.

Hassanal Bolkiah established the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation (YSHHB).  Sultan of Brunie is the Head of Religion, and Islam is the official religion of the country.

The Sultan made it official to ensure Islamic celebrations like the Early Years Celebration Prophet’s birthday, Isra and Miraj, and Nuzul Al Quran are grandly celebrated on a large scale. He frequently visits mosques and surau throughout the nation to offer Friday prayers.

Hassanal Bolkiah also advocated the implementation of Islamic sharia penalties in 2014 including the controversial adultery punishment with death by stoning.

In 2015, Hassanal Bolkiah took the decision to ban public celebrations of Christmas, however, the ban impacts only local Muslims whereas Christians are allowed to celebrate Christmas.

As of 2015, there are around 18,000 Bruneian Catholics, mainly Chinese and ex-pats living in the country as per Bruneian Bishop and Cardinal Cornelius Sim.

Personal life

The Sultan of Brunei married his first cousin and first wife, Princess Pengiran Anak Saleha. She later became the Queen. He then married Mariam Abdul Aziz who was a former flight attendant of Royal Brunei Airlines.

In 2003, he filed for divorce with Mariam and removed her of all her royal titles. His third marriage was to former Malaysian TV3 presenter, Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim. Azrinaz was 33 years younger than him. He divorced her in 2010.

His elder son, Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah is the present crown prince of Brunei and the sultan’s heir. Hassanal Bolkiah has five sons and seven daughters with his three wives. He has 18 grandchildren as of 2020.

In English his full title is “His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam.”

He has an English residence at Binfield Manor in Berkshire.

Military honors

The Sultan holds below military honors:

  • Honorary commission in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as an Air Chief Marshal.
  • Honorary Admiral of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom.
  • Honorary member of the Indonesian Satgas Atbara Special Operations Unit.
  • Honorary Colonel Commandant of Pakistan’s Special Service Group (SSG)
  • He possesses red beret and paratrooper wings of the Black Hawk paratroopers granted by the Indian Army

His luxurious collection of Cars

Sultan of Brunei has amassed the rarest of the rare collection of a huge number of cars, including a gold-coated Rolls-Royce.

His collection of cars includes more than 7,000 cars with an estimated cumulative value of over US$5 billion as per Hotcars report.

Hassanal Bolkiah has around 500 Rolls Royce and 300 Ferraris in his garage. He even has many dedicated private jets equipped with world-class luxury facilities. He has Boeing 747-400, Boeing 767-200, and Airbus A340-200 jets.

Grand Palace

The Istana Nurul Iman Palace of Hassanal Bolkiah is estimated to be worth more than 300 million dollars.

The palace has 1700 rooms, 257 bathrooms along with five swimming pools. There are 110 garages and an air-conditioned stable that can accommodate 200 horses.

Well, one can only dream of living such a lavish life. What say?

Stay tuned to this space as we share with you more interesting articles like this!

Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Technology. She is also an ardent music lover. Twitter handle: @archana153sarda
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