The Royal Crown

I was reading with interest interactions between someone called 'aku' and 'bruneiresourcefan' in the comment box with regard to the Royal Crown. This interaction came about after that article I wrote about Pulau Cermin and the Brunei Civil War. Sultan Abdul Mubin knowing that he is about to lose the war to Sultan Muhyyidin is said to fire all the Royal Regalias including the Brunei Crown into the Brunei Bay. This was to have taken place around the 17th century. Many people, it has been told, has been trying to find this crown and all the other paraphanelia. The Crown used by His Majesty is a newer crown made for the Coronation of His Majesty in August 1968.

'Aku' claimed that he has a photograph of the Crown which was supposedly to have been found from the Brunei Bay. I don't know about that but I do know that this 'original' crown story has been out for quite a while. I found the story on a publication by Brunei Museum called Berita Muzium Issue January-April 2006. This crown (photos above and below) was offered to Brunei in 2003.

The story was quite fantastic. The finders said that to get this crown to 'appear', some magic had to be done involving waters from the Pulau Cermin area. It took a while for the process to be completed in Indonesia. Anyway after it appeared, it had to be guarded as it can 'fly' away.

Anyway, the Museum Department investigated the crown. They found that the crown was a rough replica of the current Crown. It is crudely made out of red coloured metal and the metals were connected by soldering. The stones adorning the crown mimics today's crown. Scientific testing showed that the crown was painted gold. The metal turned white when rubbed.

The crown does not show signs that it has been fired out of a cannon or even spent time in any water let alone 300 years of being in the depth of Brunei Bay. The authorities has dismissed this as a fake. The most important telling point was that the crown used by His Majesty was created by His Majesty Sultan Omar Ali partly based on documents and sketches of the old crown but he has no model to base this on. The irony was that the fakers did not know that. They thought that by making the fake crown similar to the current one would make their fake one looked real.

This is what today's Crown look like for you to make the comparison. You can find this in the Royal Regalia Museum in Bandar if you want to see it closely.

According to an article in Brunei Times, the late Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien is credited with literally bringing the crown back from the depths of the sea. The late Al-Marhum Sultan, based on old palace documents and sketches, drew the design of the mahkota himself and had it commissioned. With some alteration, the former crown was brought back to life in all its newfound glory. This supreme symbol of sovereignty of the Brunei Sultanate is made of gold and studded with precious jewels. The mahkota is unique in design with inclusions of elements such as the Alap (upturned diadem set in gold and precious stones), Tajuk Mahkota (six pieces of bunched ornaments in the shape of Payung Ubur-ubur (umbrella-like jellyfish tentacles, three on each side), Melur Turun (dangling jasmines), and Tara Mahkota (seven-pronged centrepiece topped with pearls and precious stones).

It does resemble the fake crown. But remember - the fake crown is modelled after this crown and not the other way around.

PS. Anyway, for something else genuine, a big box of lovely artistic decorated cupcakes! A big thanks to Hanna & Jasmine for the lovely cupcakes you gave me yesterday. I was quite surprised when my brother dropped off the box of cupcakes yesterday evening at our house. My eight year old son loved them so much. They really taste as nice as they look. You can read more about these cupcakes on the Heart of Jasmine blog here.


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