BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – A sombre mood fell across the nation as the death of HRH Prince Haji ‘Abdul ‘Azim was announced Saturday afternoon.

The late prince — the second eldest son of the monarch — was just 38 when he passed away at 10am on Saturday morning.

The nature of his death was not disclosed by the palace, but a statement from his younger brother HRH Prince ‘Abdul Mateen attributed his passing to multiple organ failure brought on by severe systemic vasculitis.

Funeral or jenazah prayers were recited for the late prince at Istana Nurul Iman before his body was taken for burial at the Royal Mausoleum in Bandar Seri Begawan.

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A large convoy accompanied the late prince’s body to the Royal Mausoleum, which houses the tombs of several Bruneian sultans and members of the Royal Family. The first sovereign buried here was Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin I, who died in 1795.

A convoy of flag-bearers arrives at the Royal Mausoleum for the burial of HRH Prince Azim. Photo: Infofoto

Apart from members of the Royal Family, state dignitaries and cabinet ministers also attended the burial ceremony at the Royal Mausoleum. YAM Tunku Idris Iskandar of Johor also came as the personal representative of his father the Sultan of Johor.

A tahlil and talqin was recited for Almarhum.

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His Majesty the Sultan and Her Majesty the Duli Raja Isteri then proceeded to pour scented water, or air asah-asahan, over the grave of the late prince, as one of the final burial rites. His Majesty’s sons also participated in the ritual, followed by Prince Azim’s mother, Puan Hajah Mariam Hj Abdul Aziz.

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Born on July 29, 1982, Prince Azim was the eldest child of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Puan Hajah Mariam Hj Abdul Aziz. He was the sultan’s sixth child and second eldest son.

Prince Azim received his early eduction at the International School Brunei and later at the Raffles Institution, before attending Oxford Brookes University in the UK.

He was a keen advocate for the arts and creative industries, and championed several causes around youth and people with disabilities.

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The nation will observe a seven-day period of mourning for the late prince. All nationals flags should be lowered to half-mast and public celebrations or entertainment cannot be held during the mourning period, the palace said in a statement.

This article was updated on October 27, 2020 to include the late prince’s cause of death..