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Why Brunei's Prince Mateen's beautiful bride borrowed £10 million 'practical' tiara from sister-in-law

Princess Azemah wore the diamond bridal tiara in January 2023

Prince Abdul Mateen and Yang Mulia Anisha Rosnah walk down the aisle during their wedding reception
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Prince Mateen of Brunei's wedding with the Sultan's special advisor Pehin Dato Isa's granddaughter Anisha Rosnah is coming to a close following ten days of celebrations, which included the ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman on 14 January. This saw his bride step out in an ivory wedding dress with a delicate pattern, long sleeves and a mini V-neck, which she accessorised with dazzling diamond jewellery.

Alongside her chunky necklace, matching drop earrings and a non-traditional bouquet made of jewels, the Princess secured a floor-length embellished veil over her brunette hair with a tiara that belonged to her sister-in-law, Princess Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah. Azemah tied the knot with her first cousin Prince Bahar ibni Jefri Bolkiah in January 2023 wearing a bespoke headpiece created by Singapore jeweller Flower Diamond, which is estimated to be worth a whopping £10 million.

Prince Abdul Mateen and Yang Mulia Anisha Rosnah sitting at their wedding© IQBAL DATO HJ SELAMAT
Prince Abdul Mateen and Yang Mulia Anisha Rosnah had their wedding ceremony on 14 January

Alexandra Michell, Gemologist at Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn, told HELLO! there could have been several reasons Anisha chose to carefully adjust Azemah's "practical" yet symbolic bridal tiara for her big day. "The 838 diamonds totalling 132 carats set in white gold piece was designed in 2023 as an easy to wear and lightweight tiara but with an impressive effect for HRH Princess Azemah’s wedding. I would estimate the value to be upwards of £10 million. 

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"Heavily laden tiaras can become uncomfortable to wear, especially when they must be worn during lengthy ceremonies. It is possible that this one was chosen for Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Anisha Rosnah to wear for practical reasons so as not to encumber her during the formal proceedings," Alexandra explained. 

Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah and son Prince Abdul Mateen attend Jordan's Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II's Royal Wedding Banquet © Shutterstock
The wedding was held at the Sultan of Brunei's official residence

Commenting on the symbolic design, she added that there are subtle links with the emblem of Brunei. It is made up of a swallowtail flag and a royal parasol, which are both regalia of the sultanate's monarchy; wings, which symbolise the protection of justice; two upturned hands, which reportedly indicate the government's duty to preserve the welfare of the citizens; and a crescent, which is a symbol of Islam. The gemologist also noted the "classical" features of symmetry and geometry, adding: "There is also a strong naturalistic aspect to it, with the ocean featuring within the tiara. There are undulating waves in the design, terminated by oval cut diamonds, possibly representing Borneo, on which the Sovereign State is located."

Prince Abdul Mateen ibni Hassanal Bolkiah with his bride-to-be Anisha Isa Kalebic© Instagram
Mateen announced his engagement to Anisha, the granddaughter of the Sultan's special advisor Pehin Dato Isa, in October 2023

Meanwhile, Mateen looked dapper in a white military jacket and black trousers. Next to a photo of the royal couple on Instagram, the jeweller wrote a congratulatory message and revealed their honour at being involved. "Congratulations to the beautiful royal couple, His Royal Highness Prince Mateen & Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Anisha Rosnah binti Adam! We appreciate the privilege of being part of your special day and sharing in the joyous celebration. It’s truly an honour for us to design and craft the royal tiara worn on this meaningful and commemorative occasion. Wishing you a lifetime of blessings & joy," the message read.

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Following their ceremony, Mateen and Anisha rode through Bandar Seri Begawan in an open-top Rolls-Royce to greet crowds who gathered to celebrate with them, before enjoying a banquet to mark the end of their nuptials on Monday night. For the latter, the bride left a lasting impression by slipping into yet another gorgeous ivory gown – this one covered with sparkling gems and featuring a subtle mermaid skirt – which she teamed with a different tiara.

Earlier in the week, she was pictured by Muash Rosman at her Berbedak Mandi ceremony in an elegant gown by Teh Firdaus swathed in lace with a round neck, long sleeves and a column skirt. After an outfit change, Anisha wore a striking red ensemble featuring brown leather detailing and chunky gold jewellery. 

PHOTOS: Princess Kate's £250k wedding dress: all the photos, details and the fascinating story behind it 

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