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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Royal wedding: Malaysia princess ties the knot with Dutchman in lavish ceremony

The marriage between Johor's Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim, and Dutchman Dennis Muhammad Abdullah caps a romance of over three years

The groom Dutchman Dennis Muhammad kissing his wife, Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Ibrahim of Johor after their marriage solemnisation ceremony at the Serene Hill Palace in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on August 14, 2017.  EPA/Johor Royal Press Office handout
The groom Dutchman Dennis Muhammad kissing his wife, Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Ibrahim of Johor after their marriage solemnisation ceremony at the Serene Hill Palace in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on August 14, 2017. EPA/Johor Royal Press Office handout

The daughter of one of Malaysia's most powerful sultans married her Dutch fiance on Monday in a ceremony steeped in centuries of tradition during a day of lavish celebrations.

Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim, 31, the only daughter of the Sultan of Johor, tied the knot with Dennis Muhammad Abdullah, 28, capping a romance of over three years.

The Dutchman, who has converted to Islam, wed the princess according to Muslim Malay custom at the Serene Hill Palace, the royal family's residence in the southern city of Johor Bahru. The private ceremony was attended by close family and friends.

The groom wore traditional white Malay wedding attire and the bride wore a white dress. Dennis Muhammad placed the wedding ring on Tunku Aminah's finger in a special room in the palace, according to the royal press office.

In keeping with centuries-old wedding customs in the Muslim-majority southern state of Johor, he also gave her a dowry of 22.50 Malaysian ringgit (Dh19). The couple also kissed the hands of their parents, aunts and uncles as a mark of respect.

Johor Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim and Dutch-born Dennis Muhammad Abdullah were pronounced husband and wife on 14 August 2017, after their solemnisation of marriage according to Malay customs. The ritual was witnessed by Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar and his consort Raja Zarith Sofiah Idris Shah as well as close family members and friends. EPA/Johor Royal Press Office handout
Johor Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim and Dutch-born Dennis Muhammad Abdullah were pronounced husband and wife on 14 August 2017, after their solemnisation of marriage according to Malay customs. The ritual was witnessed by Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar and his consort Raja Zarith Sofiah Idris Shah as well as close family members and friends. EPA/Johor Royal Press Office handout

An evening reception will be the main event, with some 1,200 guests due to attend and crowds expected to watch the event on a big screen in a city square.

There have been frenetic preparations in recent days, with the grounds of the main palace decorated with bunting and main streets adorned with flags.

"I am taking my wife and two young children to the city square tonight to witness the live broadcast of the evening celebrations," said Azim Mohamad Nurazim, a 34-year-old local salesman.

"It is a celebration for all Johoreans. My message to Tunku Aminah and her husband is long and healthy life, and may Allah bless the couple with lots of children."

The Dutchman, who now works for a property development company in Johor, was born Dennis Verbaas and adopted a Muslim name when he converted to Islam in 2015.

Johor's royal family is rich and powerful and possesses its own private army - the only state to have one.

Malaysia has a unique arrangement in which the throne of the Muslim-majority country changes hands every five years between the rulers of the nine states which are still headed by Islamic royalty.

The current king is Sultan Muhammad V, from the conservative Islamic northern state of Kelantan, who steps down in 2021.

But Dennis Muhammad is unlikely ever to assume the role since the rulers choose among themselves who the next king will be.