A Russian model who married the former king of Malaysia posted a romantic video of the pair dancing amid rumours he has divorced her.
Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan, 49, finalised a divorce this month from beauty queen Oksana Voyevodina, 27, according to Russian and Malaysian media, just weeks after the couple’s first son was born in 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 Voyevodina, who was crowned Miss Moscow in 2015, converted to Islam, taking the name Rihana Oksana Petra.
But the fairytale wedding sparked controversy in the king’s mostly Muslim home country, where the bride’s past as an underwear model upset conservatives.
The possibility that a Russian beauty queen could be crowned the actual queen of Malaysia reportedly disquieted other royals.
Sultan Muhammad V stepped down as king 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 king through 2021 in the country’s unique rotating monarchy, which is typically passed between nine royal households.
A friend of Ms Voyevodina told Russian media said they had split up, apparently at the sultan’s behest. The Russian beauty queen appeared to be opposed to the move.
On Wednesday she 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,” the former king 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 Voyevodina 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.
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 by uttering the word “talaq” three times, the most irreconcilable form of divorce in Islam.