World Leaders in Their Underpants #71

Hassanal Bolkiah - Sultan of BruneiHassanal Bolkiah – Sultan of Brunei

You probably know him as the Sultan of Brunei, but his titles are many and varied. In addition to his immense personal fortune, he also manages to embody almost every species of World Leader available, with the exception of Pope. He is a Yang Di-Pertuan, like the King of Malaysia, but unlike him, Hassanal Bolkiah is not content with a merely ceremonial role. Oh no. He is also the Minister of Defense, Inspector General of the Police Force, Defender of the Faith, an honorary admiral in the British Navy, and, thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s profligacy with the inaugural sword, a knight of the British realm. Oh, and Prime Minister.

And President.

Despite all these titles, the humble Sultan styles himself as His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’Izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam for short. In case there is any doubt, and in the likely event that you just skim-read that, it mentions that he’s Sultan three times.

He has been most of these things since 1967, and as such, is one of the world’s longest serving heads of state. His son is his designated successor, which is probably for the best, because when he goes, there will be around 1000 new job vacancies in Brunei. Bolkiah’s stash of titles is now complete as he joins World Leaders in Their Underpants.

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