Coronation of the Sultan
From Borneo Bulletin Archives
AUGUST 3, 1968 – Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, 22, was crowned as the 29th ruler of Brunei in traditional ceremony in Brunei Town on August 1, 1968.
He drove through the sunny streets of his capital in a state coach drawn by 50 soldiers to the newly-completed Lapau, where his father, the Begawan Sir Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, placed the crown on his head.
Dignitaries from far and near watched the ancient ritual in the Lapau, while thousands of citizens and visitors crowded vantage points in the centre of the city, access to which (except for official vehicles) had been restricted from early in the morning.
After a traditional Muslim bathing ceremony at the Istana, heralded by a 21-gun salute, the Sultan rode in his new six-door Mercedes landaulet, with the rear roof lowered so that he was visible.
At the Fire Station, the Sultan dressed in red and gold ceremonial dress, glittering with the insignia of his decorations, boarded the State carriage with his equally brightly-dressed attendants.
The coach, lavishly decorated in gold and black with a throne upholstered in tiger skin, was specially made for the coronation. About 85 feet long, it was propelled on August 1, 1968, by 50 black-costumed Royal Brunei Malay Regiment soldiers.
The procession of carriage, red and black-robed warriors carrying lances, swords, shields and multi-coloured umbrellas then marched off through crowded streets to the Lapau.
On the eve of the coronation, Queen Elizabeth conferred on Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah the award of Honorary Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).
|The Royal carriage arrives at the Lapau for the crowning ceremony|
|The Begawan, Sir Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, whose abdication last October led to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah coming to the throne, places on his son’s head the golden crown, which with the traditional Keris Sinaga makes him ruler of Brunei|
|The scene in the Lapau when, having crowned the Sultan, the Begawan Sir Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, drew his sword and signalled the court officials to pay homage|