The Royal Regalia Coffee Table Book

When I was first posted to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, my first thoughts were that this would be an interesting ministry to work in especially given my interests. This has proven to be true. Recently I was asked to be the Guest of Honour for the launching of the book marking the 15th anniversary of the Royal Regalia building at the where else but the Royal Regalia Building itself.

It was sometime ago in 2009, that the Museums Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the publishing of a book entitled Coffee Table Book: The Royal Regalia of Brunei Darussalam.

The book is aimed towards increasing interest and appreciation for the country's Royal Family history and to promote the Royal Regalia as a tourist attraction and provide visitors with a souvenir to generate more international interest in Brunei. More than 100,000 visitors visit the Royal Regalia Building every year. This initiative was undertaken by the Museums Department in collaboration with sponsorship by DST Group and Digital Impressions.

Unfortunately the book was not launched sooner for various reasons. Now, the book is finally launched but with slightly dated information. The foreword is written by the previous Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Ahmad Jumat and the preface is written by the now retired Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Jemat Ampal.

Together with Bantong Antaran, Director of Museums (Photo Source: The Brunei Times)

Despite that small shortcomings, the book contained a montage of the Royal Regalia including the grand Royal chariot, ceremonial armoury, jewel-encrusted crowns and clothes used during the coronation and a replica of the throne in which His Majesty sits on during state occasions.

 Bantong Antaran said that the book aims to become an important source of reference about the Royal Regalia not just in Brunei but also outside the country. "By promoting this book, we hope to contribute positively to the tourism industry," said the Director adding that the book will provide convenience as people could view the Royal Regalia buildingin their own time. As the book is currently a Limited Edition, it is only available to official visitors as a souvenir from the Royal Regalia Museum. The Director of Museums said the prints for the public sale will be ready in the near future.

The Royal Regalia building represents one of the most significant landmarks in the country. Glorious displays of symbols portraying historical artifacts of a 600-year-old monarchy including art, culture and Brunei's heritage are exhibited at the building in the heart of the capital.

The Royal Regalia building, which abides by the national philosophy of Melayu Islam Beraja or Malay Islamic Monarchy, was completed in September 30, 1992 to promote research and stimulate interest in the rich cultural and natural heritage of Brunei. It was opened to the public in the same year by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in conjunction with the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty's accession to the throne.


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