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Sultans of bling: Gem-encrusted wedding for Brunei prince
April 13, 2015, 1:02 pm
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Brunei's Prince Abdul Malik, 31, exchanged vows with Dayangku Raabi’atul 'Adawiyyah Pengiran Haji Bolkiah, 22, in a lavish celebration in which both bride and groom wear gold outfits adorned with diamonds and other precious stones. The bride carried a bouquet made of gems rather than flowers, wore shoes by Christian Louboutin, the French designer, and had a diamond necklace with a central pendant of three grape-sized emeralds.
The Sultan, an oil and gas potentate who is one of the world’s richest men, has five sons and seven daughters from three marriages. Guests at the ceremony were treated afterwards to a banquet in a palace hall that can accommodate 5,000 guests.

The wedding festivities began on April 5 and are due to continue until Wednesday. Brunei, a former British protectorate of about 400,000 on Borneo island, is run as an absolutist Muslim monarchy by the Sultan, 67.

Political discontent is limited thanks to a high standard of living and free education and health care, although members of the royal family have been criticised for their extravagant lifestyles. Michael Jackson, the late pop singer, was reportedly paid more than £10 million to give a concert in Brunei in 1996 to mark the sultan’s 50th birthday. Last year, the sultan caused controversy by introducing Sharia criminal law, which allows for punishments including stoning, whipping and amputation.

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