Brunei Darussalam

Last modified: 14 August 2020

The country

The state is known as Negara Brunei Darussalam in its national language. This means the State of Brunei.

Brunei is situated at the northern coast of Borneo, and is almost completely surrounded by Malaysia. The Sultanate of Brunei was powerful from the 14th to the 16th century. In this period also the present reigning family of Brunei found its origin. According to the national epic poem the origines of the present sultanate started when Dewa Emas Kayangan came down from heaven in an egg. One of his children converted to the Islam and became the first sultan. Not much is known about the first sultans. Under the reign of the 5th sultan Bolkiah (1485-1521) the influence of the sultanate extended. This prosperous era continued until the end of the reign of the 9th Sultan, Hassan. After his death, the country entered a period of decline. There were internal battles over royal succession and the rising powers of the Europeans in the region.

In 1839, with the help of the British adventurer James Brooke, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II gained power of Sarawak. But after a conflict between these two men, the Sultan had to recognise Sarawak’s independence in 1843. A treaty with Great Britain was signed in 1846, after the British had attacked Brunei Town. Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin in 1888 signed a treaty with Great Britain, that placed the Sultanate under British protection. Apart from the occupation by the Japanese from 1941 to 1945, the country remained under British protection, until its full independency on January 1st, 1984. In 1959 Brunei was already declared a self-governing state, while Great Britain took care of foreign affairs, security and defence. Since 1984 Brunei is an independent sovereign sultanate. The Sultan is the supreme executive authority. Since the country resumed full political independence in 1984 the Sultan has also been the prime Minister. Pengiran Muda Haji Al- Muhtadee Billah became the Crown Prince on August 10th, 1998.


The current sovereign is Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the 29th Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. He was born at the Istana Darussalam, Brunei Town, Brunei, on 15 July 1946.

He is the son of Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the 28th Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (1914-1986) and his wife Paduka Suri Sri Begawan Raja Pangiran Anak Damit (1924-1979).


Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah succeeded his father after his abdication on 5 October 1967.

The coronation took place at Lapau di-Raja, Brunei Town, on 1 August 1968.

Other details

The King’s motto is Always in service with God’s guidance.

The King is a Muslim.

Marriage and descendants

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is married to Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajjah Saleha (born 1946) since 1965. From 1981 to 2003, when they divorced, he was also married to Mariam Abdul Aziz (born 1956). From 2005 to 2010, when they divorced, he was also married to Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim.

His children:

  • (by 1) Princess Rashidah (born 1969) is married to Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim (born 1970) since 1996. The couple has three daughters, Rahima (born 1997), Hariisah and Raqeeqah (born 2009), and two sons, Abdul Raqib (born 2002) and Abdul Hasib (born 2006).
  • (by 1) Princess Muta- Wakkilah (born 1971),
  • (by 1) Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah (born 1974)
  • (by 1) Princess Majeedah (born 1976) is married to Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil (born 1975) since 2007. The couple has one son, ‘Abdul Hafeez (born 2008), and one daughter, Raihaanah (born 2010).
  • (by 1) Princess Hafizah (born 1980) is married to Muhammad Ruzaini (born 1983) since 2012. The couple has four sons, Muhammad Za’eem (born 2013), Muhammad ‘Aamir (born 2015), Abdul Hakeem (2018) and Abdul Aleem (2020).
  • (by 1) Prince ‘Abdul Malik (born 1983) is married to Dayangku Raabi’atul Adawiyyah Pengiran Haji Bolkiah since 2015. The couple has three daughters, Muthee’ah Raayatul (born 2016), Fathiyyah Rafaahul (born 2018) and Khaalishah Mishbaahul (2020).
  • (by 2) Prince ‘Abdul ‘Azim (1982-2020)
  • (by 2) Princess ‘Azemah (born 1984)
  • (by 2) Princess Fadzillah (born 1985)
  • (by 2) Prince ‘Abdul Mateen (born 1991),
  • (by 3) Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel (born 2006)
  • (by 3) Princess Ameerah (born 2008)

Heir to the throne

Crown Prince Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah was born at the Istana dar ul-Hana, Brunei Town, Brunei, on 17 February 1974.

He is married to Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah (born 1987), since 2004.

Their children:

  • Prince ‘Abdul Muntaqim (born 2007)
  • Princess Muneerah Madhul (born 2011)
  • Prince Muhammad Aiman (born 2015)
  • Princess Faathimah Az-Zahraa’ Raihaanul (born 2017).

Postal address

Istana Nurul Iman
Bandar Seri Begawan
BA 1000
Brunei Darussalam


The Council of Succession determines, subject to the Constitution and the Succession and Regency Proclamation 1959, the succession of the throne in the event of that need arising. The order of succession is determined by the Constitution and arrangements for a Regency are similarly laid down. The sultan appoints the member of the Council of Succession. The hereditary succession is limited to legitimate descendants of Sultan Hashim Jalal ul-Alam. The succession runs via male primogeniture. The sons by royal wives take precedence over sons by commoner wives. The wife of a Sultan has to profess the Islamic religion. The Sultan has to proclaim her as his consort in the Gazette.


The sovereign is styled His Majesty and is the Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sri Baginda Sultan dan Yang di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam (Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of the State of Brunei Darussalam). The first wife is styled Her Majesty and is the Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sri Baginda Raja Istri (Raja Istri). The younger wife/wives are styled Her Royal Highness and are Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Istri (Princess). The crown prince is His Royal Highness and is Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Duli Paduka Sri Pengiran Muda Mahkota (Crown Prince). The Sultan’s younger sons and grandsons in male line are styled His Royal Highness and are Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Sri Duli Pengiran Muda (Prince). The Sultan’s daughters and granddaughters in male line are styled Her Royal Highness and are Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Sri Duli Pengiran Anak Putri (Princess). The sons of daughters of the Sultan are Yang Amat Mulia Duli Pengiran Anak, unless the father has a Vizier title. The granddaughters of the Sultan in female line are Yang Amat Mulia Duli Pengiran Anak, unless the father has a Vizier title.

The Sultans of Brunei Darussalam

Hassanal Bolkiah (1946-)1967/84-