Sultan Muhammad V resigned last year in order to marry Russian beauty queen, now divorced the world asks, just what went wrong

  • More by Nur-Al-Sahid


Sultan Muhammad V of Malaysia divorces after giving up throne for Russian beauty queen


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Last year Malaysia’s ruler, HRH Sultan Muhammad V stunned the world by becoming the first Malaysian ruler to give up their throne and abdicate.

The love struck Royal gave up the throne to marry a Russian beauty queen who in turn reverted to Islam before marriage.

The Russian model who married the former Sultan of Malaysia posted a romantic video of the pair dancing amid only days before divorce rumours seemed to be confirmed.

Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan, 49, finalised a divorce via Islamic Talaq this month from Russian beauty queen and former lingerie model, Formerly Oksana Voyevodina now Rihana Oksana Petra, 27, according to Russian and Malaysian media, just weeks after the couple’s first son was born in the Russian capital of Moscow.

They married in June 2018 in a lavish ceremony in Barvikha, a ritzy Moscow suburb home to many of Russia’s rich and powerful.

Ms Petra, who was crowned Miss Moscow in 2015, reverted to Islam and changed her name to Rihana Oksana Petra in an apparent attempt to distance herself from her former career, prior to the marriage.

But the fairytale wedding sparked controversy in Malaysia, a Muslim country, where the bride’s past as an underwear model upset many in both the ruling class and public opinion.

The possibility that a Russian beauty queen could be crowned the actual queen of Malaysia reportedly disquieted many of the other royals.

Sultan Muhammad V stepped down as ruler when he returned from a leave of absence in January, the first such abdication since Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957.

He was supposed to serve as ruler through 2021 in the country’s unique rotating monarchy, which is typically passed between nine royal households.

A friend of Ms Petra, whom sometimes uses her former name in Russian press interviews, told Russian media that the royal couple had “split up”, apparently at the Sultan’s behest. The Russian beauty queen appeared to be opposed to the move according to the report.

On Wednesday Ms Petra posted an old video of herself and the former king displaying their mutual affection.

“He cares about me and our family, and I will take care of him, and of course I want to be the last person in his life, and I want to live with him until the end of my life,” she says in the video.

“For me the two most important is patience and understanding. Because a lot of people say love, love, yeah fine, love is good, but after 15 or 20 years the patience and understanding is going to overtake the love already,” Sultan Muhammad V said.

“Even though there’s a lot of hobbies we don’t do together, there’s a lot of understanding.”

After the couple’s son was born, Ms Petra had expressed the hope on her Instagram account that he would be crowned the “crown prince of Kelantan and, Inshallah, the future king of Malaysia,” a statement that also reportedly rankled the other royals.

The palace of Sultan Muhammad’s V home state of Kelantan has not commented on the divorce, but said in a statement on Tuesday “no one can be called as Kelantan Queen” without its permission. The statement was received by royal commentators as indicating that Ms Petra had not been grated the title of Queen by marriage, possibly indicating that their son may not gain the title Crown Prince either.

A copy of the divorce certificate posted online was confirmed as genuine by a source, according to New Straits Times.

The document reportedly said the divorce was done via verbal confirmation of Talaq. (Stating “Bismillah irRahman irRahim, I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you” out loud in front of your partner). The verbal Talaq is usually done at the end of arbitration, a 9 month long process overseen by a Judge/Arbiter called a ‘Qadi’, which is obligatory in most circumstances, but may be longer but can be shorter or omitted all together in extreme circumstances.


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About the Author

Nur al-Shahid
• Celebrity Biographer • Author • Journalist • Travel Photographer

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