A lot of girls dream of becoming a princess and living in a faraway castle, eventually meeting a prince, and living happily ever after. That is something influenced by the many fairytales we watch when we were young.
One little Pinay learned that her dad is a king in Malaysia. It fulfilled her princess dreams! But she later thought that her mom just made the story up to make her feel that she’s a special princess and so she will stop asking about her absent dad. Later, she learned that the story was actually true! Wow.
As part of a #quarantinestories series on Humans of New York, the half-Pinay half-Malaysian princess shared her story that truly surprised many people.
She recalls that it was a day in kindergarten when she learned that her dad is a king. They were supposed to bring their dads to school but her mom told her that’s not possible.
“He’s too busy. He lives in Malaysia. And he’s a king,” her mom said.
While she was sad that her dad can’t make it to the kindergarten event, knowing her dad is a king made her happy. If her dad is king, then that makes her a princess. Isn’t that awesome?
They migrated to the US from the Philippines. But living in a rented apartment, she didn’t feel like she’s a princess. That’s not how princesses are supposed to live. When she asked her mom, she was told that she once worked as nurse in Malaysia where she met the king at a party. But that’s all that she learned because her mom refused to reveal more.
Eventually, she thought her mom just made the story up.
“Then one night, when I was fourteen years old, the phone rang. There was a strange voice on the line. I’d never heard the accent before. It said: ‘I represent His Royal Highness, and we’ve received your letters.’ I quickly handed the phone to my mom and she spoke to the man for several minutes.
When she finally hung up, she told me: ‘Your dad wants to meet you now.’ I took a week off school. We flew to London and stayed at the InterContinental hotel.
We were greeted in the lobby by a lawyer, who gave us a wad of cash to go shopping, and told us that ‘His Royal Highness’ would be available for lunch the next day.”
It was like the real-life version of “Princess Diaries”, right? She finally got to meet her dad! But it wasn’t the exciting reunion she envisioned to be. When they finally got to meet her dad, it was only for 1 hour and he came with an entourage. They were able to talk to him, with the old man telling her she looks like her older sister.
Her mom was able to obtain child support but the king never agreed to a paternity in writing. She also got to take a rare photo with her dad. Yet aside from the child support and meeting him two times more, both also for just 1 hour, she was not formally acknowledged into the family.
But her dad is truly a king – he is the Sultan of Pahang, the king and the hereditary constitutional head of Pahang, Malaysia. Formally known as His Royal Highness Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mu’azzam Shah, the king had a wife. The first one is his official and royal consort, Tengku Ampuan Afzan binti Tengku Panglima Perang Muhammad. In her passing, he had a second wife, Kalsom binti Abdullah.
A Muslim, the king could have taken the half-Pinay half-Malaysian princess’ mom, but for some reason he didn’t marry her. Still, even if she wasn’t formally acknowledged into the family, her life appears to have turned out well. Netizens praised her mother.
“Your mum sounds like an amazing person. You’re the daughter of a queen as well as a king,” one netizen wrote.
“You will always be a princess in your own right! And your mother seemed to make a wise choice to not chase your father more than she did. She picked her battles wisely,” another wrote.