Prince Mateen and Anisha Rosnah: Order of events for Brunei royal wedding explained

Ten-day extravaganza of glitz and glamour under way, with special guests rumoured to be on list for glittering banquet

The portraits of Prince Abdul Mateen and bride Anisha Rosnah with a slogan that reads 'God protect the royal couple' are pictured on a billboard over a road on Borneo island in Brunei. AFP
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Brunei is celebrating one of the grandest weddings in recent memory and there are more lavish ceremonies and celebrations to come.

Prince Abdul Mateen, 32, the son of the Sultan of Brunei, and longtime girlfriend Anisha Rosnah are tying the knot in a 10-day ceremony which began on Sunday.

Celebrations over the next few days will include traditional as well as Islamic ceremonies, musical performances and a glittering banquet with top international guests in attendance. The list is rumoured to include Britain's Prince and Princess of Wales as well as Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Princess Rajwa.

The couple's engagement was announced by the sultan in October. On New Year's Eve, Prince Mateen shared a photo of himself and his bride-to-be to his 2.4 million Instagram followers. The caption read: "Wishing you all the best for 2024."

In that photo, Prince Mateen wears a sharp blue suit, while a smiling Rosnah stands beside him in a chic cream pantsuit, her hands crossed to show off her large diamond engagement ring. Photos of the celebrations over the past few days have yet to emerge.

Order of events

The 10-day celebration began with the ceremony of the proposal of marriage, the groom's family officially declaring their intention to marry the bride. It was followed the next day by a performance by royal court musicians to formally herald the start of the celebrations.

On Tuesday, the third day, an engagement ceremony included the groom's family bringing symbolic gifts to the bride's residence. It is followed by a powdering ceremony on the fourth day. In this ceremony, members of the groom and bride's families apply powder to the couple's hands.

On Thursday, the fifth day, the bride and groom will officially exchange vows at a religious ceremony. A number of other ceremonies will take place, culminating in the royal wedding reception on Sunday. On this day, both bride and groom will take to the stage as husband and wife at a glitzy function. This will be followed by a parade through Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei.

A glittering royal banquet will be held the next day, with guests from all around the world expected to attend.

Who is Prince Abdul Mateen?

Regarded as one of South-East Asia's most eligible bachelors, Prince Mateen is the fourth son and 10th child of Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, the Sultan and Prime Minister of Brunei, and his former wife Puan Hajah Mariam binti Haji Abdul Aziz.

He is sixth in line to the throne but has been seen accompanying his father on numerous state trips around the world.

Prince Mateen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in international politics from King’s College London and is currently a helicopter pilot in the Royal Brunei Air Force, where he holds the rank of major. A skilled polo player, he also represented his nation in 2017 and 2019 at the South-East Asian Games.

Rosnah is the granddaughter of one of the sultan's special advisors, Pehin Dato Isa.

The couple have been dating for a few years and have been seen together on numerous occasions, including at the wedding of Prince Mateen’s sister, Princess Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah, early last year.

January is a special month for the Brunei royals. Princess Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah's wedding to their first cousin, Prince Bahar ibni Jefri Bolkiah, took place in January last year and was preceded by the wedding of Princess Fadzilah Lubabul in January 2022.

Princess Fadzilah married her Iraqi partner, Abdullah Nabil Mahmoud Al-Hashimi, in a lavish 10-day ceremony in Brunei.

Updated: January 10, 2024, 11:50 AM