Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Mangkubumi is the eldest of five daughters of Yogyakarta’s Sultan Hamengkubuwono X. Born on February 24, 1972, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu completed high school in Singapore at the tender age of 15. The decision was made by her Majesty Queen Hermas, who wished to teach her daughters to live independently and not rely on the royal family or its male members.
After high school, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu (which GKR is short for) attended Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, for her undergraduate degree. With her role as the heiress presumptive, the first female royal to receive such a title, let’s take a closer look at our very own Yogyakarta princess with three facts you may not know.
Gusti Raden Ajeng Nurmalita Sari
Before she was known as Gusti Kenjeng Ratu Mangkubumi, the mother-of-two was born as Gusti Raden Ajeng Nurmalita Sari. After her marriage to businessman and philanthropist Nieko Messa Yudha, her name was changed to Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Pembayun—the equivalent to Princess Royal.
In 2015, her father, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, issued a Royal Decree whereby Gusti Kanjeng Ratu received Mangkubumi as her new name, which means The One Who Holds the Earth, officially denoting her as the heiress presumptive to the throne. Previously, the title Mangkubumi was reserved only to the male royal heir to the throne, but after the special decree, female royals become eligible in the line of succession.
Aside from her busy schedules with royal duties and social activities, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Mangkubumi is also an active part of her family’s business. She serves as the President Commissioner at PT Madubaru, PT Mataram Mitra Manunggal, and PT Yogyakarta Tembakau Indonesia as well as PT Jogja Magasa Mining, which specialises in mining iron sand in the Kulon Progo area. In August 2015, GKR Mangkubumi was elected as the Chairwomen of KADIN Yogyakarta (the Chamber of Commerce of Yogyakarta).
Just like her father, who champions female values and rights, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Mangkubumi is also active in empowering women in remote Yogyakarta villages. For this, she was awarded the honour of “Wanita Tak Terpatahkan”. From 2002 to 2012, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Mangkubumi was involved with Karang Taruna Yogyakarta and was responsible for improving the livelihoods of the local youth.