Tedjowulan welcomed back to Surakarta Palace after eight years
Exactly eight years after being banned from entering the Kasunanan Surakarta Palace in Central Java, Mahapatih (deputy king) KGPH Panembahan Agung Tedjowulan was finally allowed to “come home” on Friday, coinciding with the 8th anniversary of Pakubuwono (PB) XIII Hangabehi’s coronation.
A minor incident occurred as Tedjowulan, a step-brother of PB XIII Hangabehi, was to enter the palace through the Kamandungan gate. Although the anniversary ceremony was scheduled for 9 a.m., the gate had yet to be opened from inside the palace as late as 9.30 a.m.
At the same time, negotiations were being held between the Sentana Dalem (royal family members) and the Tedjowulan camp at the Sasana Mulya building, under the mediation of Surakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Asdjima’in.
“Until the time [for the scheduled ceremony] came, none of the Sentana representatives came to fetch Tedjowulan. A compromise was finally made. Tedjowulan and his entourage walked to the Kamandungan without being fetched,” Asdjima’in said.
Accompanied by some 200 supporters, Tedjowulan walked from Sasana Mulya to Kamandungan. He was greeted by Pakubuwono XII’s son-in-law KP Eddy Wirabhumi at the Kamandungan terrace, and was escorted into the Kamandungan’s main gate by PB XIII Hangabehi’s eldest son, KGPH Mangkubumi.
Tedjowulan was asked to wait for a moment at Kasentanan Hall before he was finally allowed to proceed to the Sasana Sewaka building where the anniversary ceremony was held, accompanied by KGPH Mangkubumi and greeted by Pengageng Kusumawandana KGPH Puger, who led the ceremony.
Again, a war of words erupted for a few minutes as Tedjowulan was not allowed to sit beside PB XIII Hangabehi, who had already been seated at the throne. Tedjowulan finally sat in the Sentana row just like other members of the royal family.
“It was just a misunderstanding. His Majesty [PB XIII Hangabehi] had already been seated at the throne. It was not polite if any other people sat beside him afterward. That’s what the palace’s rules say,” Sasana Wilapa deputy head KP Winarno Koesoemo said.
Apart from the incident, the procession of the reentrance of Tedjowulan into the palace compound for the coronation anniversary ceremony was considered to mark the end of eight years of internal palace conflict.
The eight-year rift emerged following the death of Pakubuwono XII in 2004. With no queen to assume the throne, the royal family was divided into two camps, namely the supporters of PB XIII Hangabehi and those of PB XIII Tedjowulan, who later crowned himself king, arguing that each of PB XII’s sons had the right to the throne.
Tedjowulan and his supporters were then prohibited from entering the palace compound. In 2005, the Tedjowulan camp tried to force its way into the palace by breaking the Kamandungan gate.
A reconciliation agreement was only signed on May 16, 2012 at the Grand Mahakam Hotel in Jakarta between PB XIII Hangabehi and PB XIII Tedjowulan, in which both leaders agreed to jointly rule the palace, with PB XIII Hangabehi as the king and Tedjowulan as mahapatih (deputy king).
Some 400 police personnel were deployed to secure the ceremony. A bomb squad vehicle and a water canon were also prepared as precautionary measures for the ceremony.