|The bride arrives for the Bersanding with Pengarah Anak Omar Ali Ibnu Pengiran Ben-dahara Haji Mohd Yassin, a distant relative|
Royal wedding splendour
BRUNEI Town (July 31, 1965) – A colourful Bersanding ceremony on July 29, 1965 brought to a glittering climax to the week-long ceremony of the marriage of Brunei’s Crown Prince, Pengiran Muda Mahkota Hassanal Bolkiah, to his cousin Pengiran Anak Saleha.
The Crown Prince, wearing traditional Brunei Malay costume, walked with his followers from the Istana Darul Hana to the home of the bride’s father, Pengiran Pemancha, 100 yards away.
This was the first occasion they had seen each other since the celebrations began.
From 4pm, sitting side by side on a raised platform draped with golden finery, they gazed solemnly ahead – as the occasion demands – at the many guests who thronged the room.
Afterwards, they led a procession of 50 cars through the streets of Brunei. In the procession were members of the royal family, heads of government departments and other dignitaries. Children waving flags lined the route.
The procession over, the Crown Prince and his bride returned to Pengiran Pemancha’s home, where they will stay for a few days.
The celebrations began last Thursday with the Menghantar Tanda. As a token of his love and esteem, the Crown Prince sent messengers to Pengiran Anak Saleha bearing gifts.
Next day came the Pertunangan, the official engagement. Representatives of the Sultan and Pengiran Pemancha met to make the formal announcement.
On July 26, 1965, the Crown Prince was powdered by his father and other relatives and dignitaries in the Berbedak ceremony at the Istana. Next day, a small, humble figure in the vastness of Brunei Mosque, the Crown Prince was declared married by the State’s Chief Kathi, Pengiran Shahbandar.
One ceremony remained before the bersanding – the Berinai, annointing of the Crown Prince’s fingers by the Sultan and others who took part in the Berbedak. - Ignatius Stephen
JULY 31, 1965 – Not since the opening of the Brunei Town Mosque nearly10 years ago had Brunei enjoyed so colourful a spectacle as this week’s royal wedding.
Flags and bunting bedecked the streets. At night all public buildings and the mosque were floodlit. The Kampong Ayer makers of traditional gold thread sarongs were kept busy to meet a big rush for orders.
Of all the children who lined the route for Thursday’s procession, none waved flags more enthusiastically than the girls of Sekolah Tinggi Perempuan Raja Isteri (STPRI), the bride’s old school.
It was only when the official announcement was made just over a month ago that her fellow students in Form III had any idea that she was about to get married – or that her bridegroom would be the Crown Prince.
One said, “It was a well-kept secret. Not by any word or action did Anak Saleha give the impression that she even knew herself.”
Presents from relatives, friends, government departments and from the most humble Kampong dwellers poured in the Istana Darul Hana this week.
Some the Crown Prince and his bride will take with them when they leave for London in September to continue their studies. Others will be carefully packed and put away until they return to Brunei and establish a permanent home.
Courtesy of The Borneo Bulletin