Thursday, December 15, 2011

Al-Muhtadee Billah

Al-Muhtadee Billah, GCVO (Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'Izzaddin Waddaulah; born 17 February 1974) is the Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam. He was the first born son and heir to the Sultan of Brunei. He is the son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Pengiran Anak Saleha.

Al-Muhtadee Billah studied at Emmanuel School and Magdalen College, Oxford in 1997. While at Oxford, he followed a programme of study specially designed for him involving Islamic Studies, Trade, Diplomacy and International Relations. He had previously attended St. Andrew's School, Brunei in Bandar Seri Begawan for his primary education. He is a pool and snooker enthusiast, and participated in the 2006 WPA Men's World Nine-ball Championship.

On 10 August 1998 Al-Muhtadee Billah was proclaimed Crown Prince of Brunei, putting him in line to become the 30th Sultan of Brunei.

Role in government
The Crown Prince is also the Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; the Prime Minister is his father; HM The Sultan of Brunei. The Crown Prince is also a General in the Brunei Armed Forces and was appointed by his father the Sultan as the Deputy Inspector General of the Royal Brunei Police Force. As Senior Minister he is also Head of the National Disaster Management Committee.

Having recently celebrated his 37th birthday and as the Senior Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (and the royal court) he is being intensively groomed in all aspects of governance. When the Sultan is abroad he is always appointed to act as the Deputy Sultan. He also grants audience to arriving and departing foreign Ambassadors and High Commissioners. Increasingly he appears at official functions to improve his public speaking abilities in making sabda (royal speeches of a Crown Prince). He is the Deputy Chancellor of the University Brunei Darussalam and the Chancellor of the Institute Technology Brunei; once a year he awards diplomas at the convocations of both institutions. He is known to be a soft spoken and gentle man who holds a bright future as a future Sultan (king) of Brunei.

Marriage and children
On 9 September 2004, he married 17-year old Pengiran Anak Sarah at Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan in an elaborate affair. Prominent guests included the Duke of Gloucester, Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, Princes Bandar and Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, the King of Bahrain and other Malaysian sultans. The wedding was also attended by heads of state and government from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The wedding included a bersanding ceremony and a drive around Bandar Seri Begawan in a golden-topped Rolls Royce by the couple where they were greeted by crowds lining the streets.

On 17 March 2007, Al-Muhtadee Billah and Sarah welcomed the birth of their first child and the future heir to the Brunei throne, Pengiran Muda 'Abdul Muntaqim. The couple welcomed their second child and first daughter, Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah on 2 January 2011.

Personal interests
He owns sports cars from around the world, including Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, Mercedes McLaren SLR and Ferrari 599 GTB.

On 10 October 2007, the $400,000 2007 World Pool Championship was launched at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Manila. Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah again represented Brunei in the tournament at the Araneta Coliseum from 3 to 11 November.

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