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‘Infallible’ Sultan of Brunei unsuccessful at marriage

The Sultan of Brunei “can do no wrong in either his personal or any official capacity,” according to the oil-rich country's constitution. But perhaps not all the time.

Brunei's palace announced yesterday that Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has divorced his wife, Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, after five years of marriage.

State television and radio last night carried the announcement that the 63-year-old sultan had divorced Azrinaz (30), a former Malaysian television news journalist, and that all of her royal titles had been revoked.

It marked the end of a marriage that began with a private wedding ceremony which contrasted starkly with previous lavish royal events paid for with the vast wealth accrued by the tiny nation.

The sultan, the heir to an unbroken 600-year Muslim dynasty, is one of the world's richest royals with a private fortune estimated to total at least $20bn (£13.5bn).

His wife had given birth to the sultan's 11th child, a baby boy, less than a year after their wedding and a daughter in 2008 but rumours of a marriage break-up had been circulating for some time in Brunei.

It was the sultan's second divorce. He broke up with former airline stewardess Miriam Abdul Aziz in 2003 after 21 years of marriage.

He remains married to his first wife, Anak Saleha, whom he wed in 1967.

Their son, Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah, is heir to the throne.

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