Following weeks of speculation over his health condition and alleged secret marriage to a former Russian beauty queen, the King of Malaysia officially renounced his throne over the weekend.
Malaysia’s National Palace announced Muhammad V’s abdication on Sunday without going into detail on exactly why he decided to do so, Telegraph reports.
This is the first time that a monarch in Malaysia has stepped down from the throne since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1957.
The Royal Wedding.
— Kerajaan Rakyat (@KerajaanRakyat2) November 24, 2018
According to the released statement, the king thanked the prime minister and government, while expressing appreciation for the opportunity given to him by the Council of Rulers.
“His Highness has worked towards fulfilling his responsibilities entrusted to him as the head of state, serving as a pillar of stability, the source of justice, the core of unity … for the people,” the statement read.
The king had reportedly just returned from two months of medical leave when his resignation was announced.
It was during that period when he is believed to have tied the knot with a former Russian beauty queen.
Russian media reported that the 49-year-old king married 24-year-old Oksana Voevodina via a ceremony in Moscow. Not much is publicly known about Voevodina apart from her victory in the Miss Moscow contest in 2015.
Voevodina, who reportedly converted to Islam last year, is captured on images circulating online wearing her white wedding dress while sitting next to King Muhammad, who is dressed up in his traditional Malaysian outfit.
Malaysian palace officials have yet to acknowledge the images which have been widely shared on local social media. The officials also declined to comment on the supposed marriage.
In Malaysia, where administrative power is vested in the prime minister and parliament, the king’s role is mainly ceremonial in function.
View this post on Instagram
The country has nine royal households, which take turns to sit on the throne. The Council of Rulers, composed of members from all nine royal households, decide the selection of the next king via a vote.
Muhammad V, who hails from the northeast Kelantan state, became one of Malaysia’s youngest constitutional monarchs when he took his oath of office in December 2016.
It was not indicated in the palace’s statement when the Islamic rulers would vote to choose Malaysia’s next king.
Featured Image via Instagram / sinisukanews