Malaysia’s king, Sultan Muhammad V, has abdicated. He is the first King of Malaysia to do so.
His abdication comes amid rumors about his love life. Two months ago, videos surfaced that seemed to show him marrying a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen, reported PEOPLE.
However, she won't be a real queen. The Sultan has abdicated without giving a reason.
“The National Palace announces that his majesty has resigned as the 15th king." The statement added that “his decision comes into force on January 6.”
The palace gave no reason for the 49-year old sultan’s sudden departure. They also shared that he pleaded for unity in the country, and he “was ready to return home to the state of Kelantan.”
"Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, and the role of king is largely ceremonial and subject to a unique rotating election among nine ruling families," noted People. They added that the Sultan is the first Malaysian monarch to abdicate since the country gained independence from Great Britain in 1957.
On November 2, Muhammad V’s unexplained public absence was officially attributed to treatment of an undisclosed “medical condition.” However, by the end of the month, photographs and video footage surfaced showing what appears to be a wedding ceremony in Russia with the sultan marrying Oksana Voevidina, Miss Moscow 2015.
The king's role is ceremonial, and there is no law barring the king from marrying a foreigner. That means there was no direct reason he had to abdicate. However, the royal council was reportedly unhappy with his choice due to the political situation with Russia.