JOHOR BAHRU – Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah was today crowned the Permaisuri of Johor, the first time the Permaisuri title is being used in the state.
The title was consented to by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, who was crowned as the fifth Sultan of modern Johor in a glittering ceremony at the Istana Besar.
Born on Aug 14, 1959, in Batu Gajah Hospital, Perak, Raja Zarith Sofia is the second daughter and third child of Sultan Idris Shah of Perak and Raja Perempuan Raja Muzwin Raja Ariff Shah, according to the official coronation website.
Raja Zarith Sofiah studied at Cheltenham Ladies College in England until Form Six before pursuing further education at the Davies College, London, in 1977.
The following year, she was offered a place at Somerville College, University of Oxford after she passed the entrance examination. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1983.
Raja Zarith Sofiah is a talented linguist, taking Mandarin as a subject of her degree course while studying at Oxford University and also studied several other languages including French and Italian. She inherited her flair for painting from her father.
Her friendly nature and concern for her subjects has won Raja Zarith Sofiah the respect, admiration and love of all, especially the people of Johor.
Raja Zarith Sofiah was 23 years old when she married Sultan Ibrahim and the royal couple is blessed with six children, five princes and a princess.
Her community activities include being patron of the Johor Cerebral Palsy Association and Royal Adviser to the Malaysian Red Crescent Society.
The Permaisuri of Johor also set up the Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor Foundation to raise funds to conduct various educational programmes, particularly in the Islamic way of learning.
She is also a prolific writer and has authored childrenâ€™s story books as well as writing for a column in an English daily newspaper. – BERNAMA