Brunei Darussalam


His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, is Colonel in Chief of both the Gurkhas and 7 Flight Army Air Corps. On October 31, 2008 Lieutenant Colonel AJP Bourne OBE, the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles and British Forces Brunei welcomed Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to the British Forces in Seria.

A photo tells a thousand words, eighty-five more surely put me at the risk of being overly long- winded. There are times when you just cannot sum up an event with a couple of photos especially one that may well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience (or more precisely, once in my lifetime). Rather than echo what’s been reported in the papers I am delighted and honoured to present a photo documentary of the event as a personal tribute the British Forces community.


Their Royal Highnesses arrived at the helicopter base of Seven Flight yesterday afternoon where they were met by the Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles and the British Forces Brunei Lieutenant Colonel AJP Bourne Obe.

Upon arrival at the helicopter base, the Commanding Officer Major Mike Whelan gave Their Royal Highnesses a private briefing regarding the recent deployment of support troops to Afghanistan.

Their Royal Highnesses were then escorted to the Garrison’s sports pitch where the Prince of Wales consented to inspect the 60-man strong royal guard of honour and take the royal salute which was presented to the prince by the guard of honour commander Major Surendra Gurung.

Hundreds had gathered on the field to greet Their Royal Highnesses, who after the guard of honour ceremony had consented to meet and greet the congregation which consisted of military and civilian personnel along with their families and friends as well as some of the children from the local service Hornbill School and families from the British Forces in Brunei.
The Brunei Times

All images © Jan Shim Photography | | Canon EOS 20D EF100-400mm


  1. Wow, you made it to the occasion despite a short notice. Nice shots, bet you took them from a distance. What an honour having the British Crown gracing your blog. Another feather on your cap!


  2. Comment from Shamsul Sabtu

    I love your pics of the The Royal Highness visiting in the Belait district. I really admire how you compose the shots and uses DOF to lead the eyes. The first pic is my fav. All those medals say everything of what the officer been through.


  3. Hello Jan,

    My mistake, the 2nd pic is my fav. I’d just seen the gallery and it’s really nice pics. Did you use your 70-200mm on a full body DSLR? I’m just amazed how close you can get to the ‘focal’ of the scene. What do you look for when you composing a shot?


  4. just wondering why do they leave their hats on the grass?

    The hats and guns were placed on the grass I suspect as a matter of convenience during final rehearsal and not as a matter of protocol.

    Did you use your 70-200mm on a full body DSLR? I’m just amazed how close you can get to the ‘focal’ of the scene. What do you look for when you composing a shot?

    Not having been to the Garrison Pitch before, I followed my instinct and brought the body-lens combo that would give me the longest focal length in anticipation of security. So I went with the 20D and 100-400mm to give me a useful 640mm as stated at the end of the post.

    Composition and opportunity to take the shot are separate yet closely related at events like this. I don’t have an answer to this question except I’ve learnt to seize every photographic moment at any given opportunity during the event. I cannot emphasize enough the need to know your equipment well so it becomes second nature when scenes change and you instinctively know if that’s an ISO400 or ISO800, for instance, among other factors (most of the shots inside the tent were ISO800 factoring in a rainy weather) and thanks to the overcast weather, the photos preserve their details well.

    My favourite would be the shot where the soldier’s face was in focus and Prince Charles was in the bokeh.

    Nicholas, fancy you noticing that (I shouldn’t be surprised since macro shots are your forte). That is one of my favourite shots actually. I did the same with the British flag (just added) where Prince Charles is in the bokeh but the effect with the soldier is more dramatic in that it conveys emotion that is missing with the flag.


  5. Thanks Ed, Ahim and Jenison!


    Dear Jan,

    Absolutely fantastic photos, a real gem to find following Prince Charles’ visit to the Garrison. Thanks again for some amazing shots of the visit and I especially liked the photos you’ve taken of Seria Cinema. Just like the UK there are soo many beautiful buildings abandoned it’s sad that today’s children won’t enjoy them. — AH


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