7 celebrities who married into Malaysian royalty

From left: Norashikin Abdul Rahman and Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah; Ezurin Khyra and Yaacob Khyra; Aminah Maimunah and Dennis Verbaas. Photos: eMajalah2u archive, Ezurin Khyra, Royalworldjohor/Instagram
From left: Norashikin Abdul Rahman and Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah; Ezurin Khyra and Yaacob Khyra; Aminah Maimunah and Dennis Verbaas. Photos: eMajalah2u archive, Ezurin Khyra, Royalworldjohor/Instagram

From TV hosts to fashion models and beauty queens, all kinds of famous faces have made it into Malaysian royalty.

While they may not be as famous as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, they still make headlines in Malaysia from time to time. Most of them prefer to keep a low profile while some maintain a social media presence.  

Here’s a list of celebrities who have enjoyed royalty treatment since marrying into the various monarchies across Malaysia. Some continued to pursue acting, football, or have split up. 

1. Sarimah Ibrahim

Sarimah Ibrahim and Jamie Nadzimuddin. Photo: Sarimah Ibrahim/Instagram
Sarimah Ibrahim and Jamie Nadzimuddin. Photo: Sarimah Ibrahim/Instagram

Millennial Malaysians will fondly remember Sarimah Ibrahim as “Kak Sarimah,” the host of the weekend kids’ segment on local broadcast channel NTV7. In 2015, the 43-year-old tied the knot with Negeri Sembilan royal family member Jamie Nadzimuddin at Kuala Lumpur’s Prince Hotel, where they hosted a Game of Thrones-themed reception. Now, she spends most of her time with the couple’s daughter Sofia, making fitness videos, and advocating for mental health awareness.

 

2. Dennis Verbaas

Aminah Maimunah, at left, and Dennis Verbaas, at right. Photo: Royal World Johor/Instagram
Aminah Maimunah, at left, and Dennis Verbaas, at right. Photo: Royal World Johor/Instagram

Dutch model Dennis Verbaas married Johor princess Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah at a private ceremony in Johor in Aug 2017, where they were serenaded by none other than Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls. Dennis, 32, was also a semi-professional footballer in the Netherlands before marrying Aminah, as well as a marketing manager for Singapore’s Tampines Rovers Football Club. The pair can never get enough of the sport, with Aminah also the president at the Johor Darul Ta’zim football club.

 

3. Julia Rais

Undated photo of Sultan Abdullah and Julia Rais. Photo: eMajalah2u
Undated photo of Sultan Abdullah and Julia Rais. Photo: eMajalah2u

Julia Rais, a TV star back in the ‘90s, had just won the award for “most promising actress” when she married Malaysia’s reigning king, Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin, and became his second wife in 1991. Sultan Abdullah’s first wife is Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, Malaysia’s queen, who is well-known for sharing her recipes on Instagram. The Sultan and Rais now have three children together, including prominent mental health advocate Iman Afzan, but the lack of her social media presence suggests that 50-year-old Rais prefers to stay away from the spotlight.

 

4. Juliana Evans

Juliana Evans and Shariffuddin Shah. Photo: Juliana Evans/Instagram
Juliana Evans and Shariffuddin Shah. Photo: Juliana Evans/Instagram

No stranger to the limelight, Recess Time actress Juliana Evans married Selangor royal Shariffuddin Shah in 2017. These days, the 31-year-old still acts for TV shows, such as her most recent work, Degup Cinta which premiered on the Astro Ria channel last year. She’s also a mom to two-year-old daughter Kamaliah and runs jewelry line Jevans.

 

5. Norashikin Abdul Rahman

Norashikin Abdul Rahman and Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. Photo: e-Majalah2u
Norashikin Abdul Rahman and Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. Photo: e-Majalah2u

Two-time Seri Angkasa Award-winner for “Best TV News Presenter” Norashikin Abdul Rahman is one of Malaysia’s most prominent news anchors on cable television channel Radio Televisyen Malaysia, or RTM, for 20 years since 1996 until she married Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah in 2016. Just last month, the 49-year-old, who hasn’t aged a day since she left the news world, made a brief appearance on RTM as an anchor for the news segment celebrating the channel’s 75th anniversary.

 

6. Ezurin Khyra

Ezurin Khyra and Yaacob Khyra. Photo: Ezurin Khyra/Instagram
Ezurin Khyra and Yaacob Khyra. Photo: Ezurin Khyra/Instagram

The Simple Life-inspired The House reality TV personality Ezurin Khyra once married Negeri Sembilan royal Yaacob Khyra prior to their 2018 divorce. The pair have five children together from their 18 years of marriage.

Although they have parted, there seems to be no bad blood between the celeb-royal pair. The couple still spend time together with their children. 

“Because being good parents is more important for the children,” Ezurin said in an Instagram post showing off the family’s beach holiday on Langkawi island.

 

7. Oksana Voevodina

Oksana Voevodina and Sultan Muhammad V. Photo: Team Rihana Petra
Oksana Voevodina and Sultan Muhammad V. Photo: Team Rihana Petra

Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina is probably part of one of Malaysia’s most talked-about royal marriages, especially since Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V stepped down from his reign as the country’s king when he married her three years ago.

They have a son together, Ismail Leon Petra, who is being raised by Voevodina in Moscow. After about a year of marriage, the king divorced Voevodina, 28, by talak tiga, which is an irreversible form of divorce, according to Islam. The reason for their split is still unknown.

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