The son of the enormously wealthy Sultan of Brunei, and fourth in line to the throne, died on Saturday in the capital city Bandar Seri Begawan. As is typical of Muslim countries, his funeral was held shortly after, also on Saturday.
The government made the announcement on national radio. It said that the country has now entered a seven-day period of mourning and that the population should dress accordingly.
No cause of death was given, though local media reports say that he had been ill for some time. Other unconfirmed reports pointed to liver cancer.
Azim had a London-based production company Daryl Prince Productions. His Hollywood credits under the name Azim Bolkiah, included 2014 Hilary Swank-starring “You’re Not You” and 2018 Rupert Everett-starring “The Happy Prince.” The prince and the company were also understood to be attached to an untitled film project about the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow.
Azim was also said to be a high-profile figure on the international party scene, and was frequently seen in the company of Pamela Anderson, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey.
The sultanate has drawn sharp international criticism in recent years for the ruler’s advocacy of punishments for criminals that are in line with Muslim Shariah law, but which are seen as particularly brutal in the west.
Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of neighboring Malaysia, posted his condolences on Facebook. “My condolences to His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei Darussalam on the death of his majesty’s prince, Duli Yang Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran M. Azim. Malaysians are also sad for the passing of the late (prince) and pray for Paduka Seri Baginda that all the Royal relatives and the Brunei people be strong in facing this sad moment. May Allah have mercy on the soul of the deceased.” Authorities in Singapore and Indonesia also paid tribute.