Royal Regalia Museum
The Royal Regalia Building has a profusion of exhibits related to the commemorations of the 25 years of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s rule of Brunei. It is located in the heart of the Bandar Seri Begawan, the state capital of Brunei, to the north of Pedang. The Royal Regalia Building was officially opened on 30th September 1992 by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
The building is a large gold-domed structure which is fitted with specially-designed mosaics. It has a semicircular plan and is covered with plush carpets. Marble has been used extensively in its interior. The main display at the entrance hall is a huge Royal Chariot, a “gold-leafed winged chariot” that was used for the parade carrying the Sultan through the streets of the city on the occasion of his 1992 silver jubilee celebration of coronation in 1968. A bevy of headless mannequins dressed in traditional attire are displayed in front of the chariot. There is also a second chariot which was used in the 1968 coronation of the sultan.
Exhibits include the artifacts that were used for royal ceremonies in the country, the gold and silver ceremonial weaponry, crowns embedded with jewels, and other paraphernalia that formed part of the coronation ceremonies, and ceremonial costumes. A particular photograph of interest shows the Sultan smiling at his circumcision ceremony. There is an exhibit of a golden hand and forearm that the Sultan used as a prop for his chin at his coronation and an “ornate crown”, as well as exhibits of “documents and treaties” in a Constitutional Gallery.
The building, originally “Churchill’s Museum”, which had been established by the father of present Sultan of Brunei as he admired Winston Churchill, was replaced in late 1992 by the Royal Regalia Exhibition Hall. It was established to celebrate the 1992 Silver Jubilee of the Sultan’s coronation as the king of Brunei. A historical review of the present Sultan’s life is narrated through family pictures with detailed narrative texts in which the Sultan is highlighted through many of his portraits and a hologram.