Did you know since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing away, who with her 70 years of service, enjoyed the title of the world’s longest reigning monarch, this epithet has now passed on to Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei?
Brunei Darussalam, the culturally vibrant, nature-rich, developed nation, is thriving under the leadership of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. With his famous luxurious lifestyle and fascinating life, the Sultan of Brunei has garnered much attention the world over. Here are five of the most interesting facts about him.
1. He was friends with the Queen
The Sultan of Brunei was good friends with Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen even bestowed knighthood upon the Sultan. The sultanate and Great Britain maintained a close, friendly relationship. Several members of Hassanal Bolkiah’s royal family have been given honorary positions in the British Armed Forces. In fact, Bolkiah has a degree from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, the same institute that Prince William and Prince Harry attended.
2. A penchant for art
The Sultan of Brunei apparently regards art so highly that he has spent millions on it. According to a news report, he paid a whopping US$70 million for the French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s oil painting, Two Young Girls at the Piano.
3. An unmatched luxury lifestyle
Sultan’s luxurious life is a thing to be reckoned with. He owns 500 Rolls-Royce, 300 Ferraris, and a magnificent fleet of private jets. Besides this, his palace has as many as 1,788 rooms, and his sinks are made of gold.
4. A birthday like no other
Hassanal Bolkiah’s birthday, which falls on July 15, is no ordinary day in Brunei. The day is an important event in the national calendar and is celebrated throughout the country with many activities. Typically, the festivities begin with nationwide mass prayers, and the Sultan later holds a public address.
5. The Sultan’s love for polo
Ever since he was a schoolboy, the Sultan has been playing polo for leisure. He reportedly owns 200 polo ponies and even imports players from Argentina to play against. His love for polo seems to be so strong that he ensures his polo ponies also live in luxury in a vast stable with air-conditioning.