In the hustle and bustle of modern Kuala Lumpur and in the wonders of newly industrialized nation of Malaysia it is east to forget the country’s regal past. Though not publicized much, the Malaysian Royal Family is an integral part of Malay culture and the Royal Palace is found right in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Known as Istana Negara this palace houses the monarchy which has always been held in high esteem by the public.
The Royal Family in Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy and is known for putting a modern face on the traditional aspects of ruling. The post of “supreme ruler” or king in everyday parlance rotates between nine members of the family for five year terms. Though mostly ceremonial the monarchy in Malaysia features prominently in various cultural events and the public usually turns out in its thousands to greet them.
Istana Negara or Jalan Istana is the official home of the King and Queen of Malaysia, it is located on 28 acres of property just outside the capital. Many rate this to be one of the finest works of architecture to be seen in Malaysia as it blends colonial design elements with oriental sensibilities. Though many visitors would not be allowed inside to this grand palace a glimpse can be seen through the ornate foreboding gates. Another interesting activity that occurs in full view of the public is the changing of the guard, akin to the ceremony performed at Buckingham Palace.
Originally built by a rich Chinese trader as a home in the early part of the 20th century, the building changed owners many a time during the turbulent colonial period. It was then bought by the Selangor State Government, which resulted in its position as the palace of Sultan of Selangor. It was the official residence of His Majesty until 1957.
Located close to many of the transportation links to Istana Negara is the Ascott Kuala Lumpur offering Kuala Lumpur serviced apartments. This type of accommodation offers an excellent choice for travellers looking for a short stay apartment in Kuala Lumpur that is in close proximity to the city’s many attractions.