THE Royal Banquet, an annual tradition held on the occasion of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalamís 68th birthday celebration, was hosted by the monarch and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha last night at Istana Nurul Imanís Banquet Hall with about 3,000 invited guests, comprising State Dig-nitaries, Cabinet Ministers, foreign diplomats and high-ranking government officials among others.
Accompanying Their Majesties last night were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office, Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, YAM Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah, HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, YAM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Norhayati, HRH Prince ĎAbdul Malik, HRH Prince ĎAbdul Mateen and HRH Prince ĎAbdul Wakeel.
Also in attendance were HRH Princess Hajah Rashidah Saíadatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Majee-dah Nuurul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, HRH Princess ĎAzemah Niímatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah, HRH Princess Hajah Masna, HRH Princess Hajah Noríain, HRH Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum Al-Islam and HRH Princess Hajah Nor Ehsani.
Meanwhile, among the foreign dignitaries present were Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Dato Seri Paduka Pehin Sri Dr Hj Abdul Taib Mahmud and spouse Toh Puan Sri Raghad Kurdi Taib, Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Datoí Sri Anifah Hj Aman and spouse Da-tin Seri Rubiah binti Datuk Abdul Samad, as well as Sabah Chief Mi-nister Dato Seri Paduka Datuk Seri Panglima Hj Musa bin Hj Aman and spouse Datin Seri Panglima Datuk Hjh Faridah binti Hj Tussin.
Prior to the banquet, the Natio-nal Anthem was sung, followed by a Doa Selamat recited by the State Mufti, Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz bin Juned.
A fireworks display in the pala-ceís vicinity towards the end of the banquet also enlivened the atmos-phere and event, which marks two weeks of nationwide celebrations in conjunction with His Majestyís birthday anniversary.
- Borneo Bulletin
(15 August 2014)