HM shares joy at birthday banquet
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
ISTANA Nurul Iman was amassed with guests who arrived for a dazzling royal banquet in honour of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's 66th birthday celebration yesterday evening.
The newly completed extended banquet hall, gleaming with 18 chandeliers hanging from the centre of the foyer, housed guests who were dressed in traditional Malay white attire.
Each table at the main and extended banquet halls were adorned and brightened with an assortment of beautiful fresh flowers.
A live mini orchestra sounded the hall and entertained guests with calming traditional music.
Seated at the main banquet hall were cabinet ministers, state dignitaries, foreign envoys, senior army and police personnel, senior government officials and all their spouses, while the extended hall was filled with other guests including civil servants, penghulus, village heads and individuals from the private sector, among others.
Also present were the monarch's special guests, including Chief Minister of Sarawak Pehin Sri Dr Hj Abdul Taib Mahmud, Yang Amat Berhormat Sabah Chief Dato Seri Paduka Hj Musa Hj Aman, National Education Minister of Indonesia Professor Dr Muhammad Nuh and Thai Minister of Energy Arak Chonlatanond, among others.
About five Royal Brunei Police Force personnel sounded the trumpets to signal the monarch's arrival into the main banquet hall.
The sultan was accompanied by Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha down the red carpet, as guests rose in honour of the King and Queen's arrival.
Other members of the royal family, including HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Bini Hjh Faizah Dato Hj Nasir, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen, and HRH Princess Datin Laila Utama Basma Talal of Jordan followed suit into the banquet hall.
After the playing of the national anthem, the royal family then took their seats below the gold arches adorning the north face of the hall at a long table atop the royal dais.
Prior to the dinner prepared by royal chefs, a Doa Selamat was read by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz Juned to bless the occasion.
The glorious evening concluded with a much-anticipated spectacular display of fireworks.
The Brunei Times