Sultan Muhammad V allegedly divorced his Russian wife – and the Kelantan Palace is asking people not to call her Queen

After marrying barely a year ago, Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V, 50, has allegedly divorced his wife Rihana Oksana Petra, 27.
Instagram/Rihana Oksana Petra

Despite barely celebrating their baby’s first month, rumours are now swirling that Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V has divorced his Russian wife Rihana, a former beauty queen 24 years his junior.

The source of these rumours is an alleged copy of the couple’s divorce certificate circulating on social media, which listed it as a “triple talaq” divorce, according to a report by local broadcaster Astro Awani.

Under this type of divorce, a Muslim man can divorce his wife instantly by saying the word “talaq” three times. The couple can then never marry each other again, unless the wife marries another man and is divorced by him a second time.

According to Al Jazeera, some Muslim countries, such as Pakistan, have since banned the practice to protect women’s rights.

According to a report by The Star, Muhammad V’s father, Sultan Ismail Petra, also divorced his wife using the triple talaq method in 2010.

The royal couple’s alleged divorce was filed in the Syariah Court of Singapore, the New Straits Times (NST) reported on Wednesday (July 17).

NST’s report cited sources with knowledge of the matter saying the divorce was filed on June 22 and finalised on July 1.

In January, tabloids reported that the couple’s marriage was on the brink of divorce – allegations that were quickly shut down by Rihana’s father, Andrei Gorbatenko, and Tatiana Andreyeva-Falk, director of the Miss Moscow pageant.

The former Miss Moscow even posted a picture of herself and the Sultan on her Instagram page on July 6, just days after their alleged divorce was finalised.

In the post, she recounted the story of how the Sultan asked her to marry him after inviting her family to visit Malaysia.

 

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Selepas pertemuan pertama, saya dan bakal suami meneruskan komunikasi melalui telefon setiap hari. Kami ingin berjumpa sekali lagi tetapi terlalu susah disebabkan kontrak peragawati saya, dan juga kerana kami berdua tinggal berjauhan. Saya juga diberi kontrak satu tahun di luar Russia oleh sebuah syarikat yang terkenal untuk berkerja sama dengan syarikat tersebut. Menurut kontrak ini saya terpaksa berpindah ke New York. Pada masa itu, bakal suami saya amat kecewa dan meminta saya supaya tidak membuat sebarang keputusan selagi tidak berjumpa sekali lagi. Kemudian saya mendapat jemputan untuk pergi ke Malaysia bersama ibu dan bapa saya. Jadi saya menerima jemputan itu dan pergi ke sana dengan ibu saya. Kami amat terpesona apabila melihat sendiri negara ini dan saya telah jatuh cinta dengan negara Malaysia. Saya tidak akan melupakan malam yang amat romantis apabila bakal suami saya meluahkan perasaanya dan memberitahu yang dia telah jatuh cinta kepada saya pada kali pertama kami bertemu. Dia juga memberitahu yang dia amat menyenangi dengan saya dan ingin saya menjadi suri hatinya. Maka, itulah permulaan cerita cinta kami. Malaysia adalah tanah tumpah anak saya dan dengan adanya anak ini, saya tahu saya telah membuat pilihan yang amat tepat. Alhamdulillah

A post shared by Rihana Oksana Petra (@rihanapetra) on

The two first met at a dinner in Europe in 2017, exchanged phone numbers, and subsequently started calling each other every day, she said previously.

The economics graduate then moved to Kuala Lumpur that same year to study Malaysia’s culture and history, and finally gave up a lucrative modelling contract to be with the Sultan, she later said.

“I will never forget the romantic evening when my future husband confessed that he felt  (sic) in love with me from the moment he saw me,” she wrote on Instagram.

“He told me that he loved our conversations and would like me to be his wife,” she added, calling the courtship a “beautiful love story”.

No official title from Kelantan Palace

Despite the divorce rumors, the Kelantan palace has remained silent on the royal couple’s marital status – much like during their intensely-speculated wedding ceremony last November, meaning the couple’s union has never been officially announced or recognised.

This is unlike the official announcement made of the wedding ceremony between Sultan Muhammad V’s younger brother, Tengku Muhammad Faiz Petra, and Swedish national Sofie Louise Johansson in April this year.

Sofie has since been given the title Yang Berbahagia Cik Puan – an honorific for nobility – in official statements from the Palace.

Rihana, however, has not been given an official title or mentioned in any of the Palace’s statements.

It did, however, issue a statement on Tuesday (July 16) in an apparent response to one of her Instagram posts from July 11, in which she referred to her baby son, Ismail Leon, as the future crown prince of Kelantan and King of Malaysia.

 

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Assalamualaikum dan salam sejahtera kepada para pengikut yang dihormati. Saya ingin memberitahu sedikit sebanyak mengenai diri saya. Nama saya Oksana dan saya dilahirkan pada 10hb Julai 1992 di Astrakhan, Rusia. Hari ini adalah hari jadi saya yang ke 27. Saya membesar dan juga bersekolah di Taganrog, daerah Rostov-on-Don. Semasa remaja, saya pergi ke ‘Summer School’ di Oxford untuk belajar Bahasa Inggeris. Pada 2009, saya berpindah ke Moscow dan menjadi pelajar di ‘Plekhanov Russian University of Economics’. Saya mendapat ijazah sarjana muda ekonomi pada tahun 2013. Pada tahun 2015, saya memenangi pertandingan ratu kecantikan ‘Miss Moscow’. Tidak lama kemudian, saya menceburi bidang industri fesyen. Saya mencipta jenama pakaian renang saya sendiri. Pada masa yang sama, saya belajar di ‘Moscow School of Radio and Television’. Pada tahun 2016, saya telah dianuggerahkan Ijazah Sarjana dalam Pengurusan. Saya seorang pakar dalam pemasaran antarabangsa. Pada tahun yang sama, saya membuka salon kecantikan di Moscow. Pada tahun 2017, saya berpindah ke Kuala Lumpur. Saya berkahwin pada bulan Jun 2018 dan pada bulan Mei 2019, saya melahirkan anak saya Ismail Leon- Tengku Mahkota Kelantan, dan insyallah bakal Raja Kelantan. Dear followers…I want to tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Oksana. I was born on 10th July 1992 in Astrakhan, Russia. Today is my birthday, I’m 27 years old. I spent my childhood and graduated from school in Taganrog, Rostov-on-Don region. As a teen I went to Oxford summer school to study English. In 2009, I moved to Moscow and became a student at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in economics in 2013. In 2015, I won the beauty contest “Miss Moscow”. Then i created my own swimwear and beach fashion brand. At the same time, i studied at Moscow school of radio and television.

A post shared by Rihana Oksana Petra (@rihanapetra) on

In the statement, reproduced by Bernama, the Palace clarified that Tengku Muhammad Faiz Petra was Kelantan’s crown prince, not the baby.

It also called for people to stop referring to “certain individuals” as the Queen of Kelantan without the title being officially conferred.

Observers speculate that the statement was targeted at Rihana.

On the Instagram post in question, she confessed to feeling “happy” to have made “the right choice” to be with the Sultan whenever she looked at her baby.

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