Brunei sultan's daughter weds in lavish ceremony

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:17pm BST

1 of 9. Brunei's newly-wed royal couple, Pengiran Khairul Khalil and Princess Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, sit during their wedding ceremony at Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan June 10, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Ahim Rani

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Reuters) - The Sultan of Brunei's daughter married a civil servant on Sunday in a glittering traditional ceremony.

The wedding was the climax of two weeks of celebrations in the oil-rich Southeast Asian nation, ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the world's richest men.

More than 2,000 guests witnessed the marriage of Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, 31, the sultan's fourth child, to Khairul Khalil, 32, inside the gold-domed state palace.

The bride dressed in traditional Malay brocade of maroon and gold and wore a tiara, while the groom wore the traditional dagger in his belt.

Cannon shots were fired and an Islamic cleric read prayers before the couple drove in a gold-coloured Rolls-Royce through the capital lined with thousands of well-wishers waving national flags.

The princess, a specialist in environmental development, works in Brunei's development ministry. Her architect husband is an official in the prime minister's office.

Sultan Hassanal will host a banquet on Monday for the newlyweds and guests, including Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Sultan Hassanal married Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, a former Malaysian television journalist, in the Malaysian capital in 2005 in a private ceremony that contrasted sharply with previous celebrations for members of the Brunei royal family.

In 1996, entertainer Michael Jackson was flown in to perform for the people of Brunei to mark the sultan's 50th birthday. The same year, the sultan held a week-long celebration with concerts by U.S. pop stars Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston to mark the marriage of his eldest daughter.

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