Meet the stunning Bruneian royal who is the star of Amazon Prime’s ‘Almost Paradise’ – Inspite of her family being worth billions and her father owning 2,00 cars the fashionista keeps a low profile and focuses on her family life and fashion brand.

Almost Paradise star Samantha Richelle has royal roots but she’s kept it very low-key. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram


American-Filipino crime drama Almost Paradise has just released its second season on Amazon Prime Video, following the story of a former DEA agent who’s forced into retirement and moves to the beautiful island of Cebu.

Samantha Richelle is a social media star. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

What some fans might not know though is that one of its main cast members has a royal heritage. Samantha Richelle, who plays Kai Mendoza on the programme, has lineage that traces to the uber-wealthy Brunei royal family.

Samantha Richelle is low-key about her private life. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

So, what do we know about the talented 34-year-old blue-blooded fashionista?

Samantha Richelle is said to hail from Bruneian royalty. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

Samantha Richelle has royal roots
Richelle had a very international upbringing. She was born in Brunei, moved to Los Angeles for high school, then migrated to London and back to Los Angeles, before heading to the Philippines where she is now based.

Samantha Richelle has opened up about her acting career in interviews. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

According to Singaporean media, she is the daughter of Brunei’s Prince Jefri Bolkiah, who is the brother of the region’s sultan. The same source states that she keeps her royal background relatively hush-hush. Richelle is reportedly close to Princess Ezurin, who’s also an active social media star.

Samantha Richelle has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

Acting, directing and writing
Richelle made her debut with Almost Paradise in 2020. “It was something I was really interested [in doing] because, growing up, I’ve never seen a show [represent] the Philippines in this light,” she shared in an interview with Manny the Movie Guy on YouTube. “You get to see the beautiful landscapes and beaches that we have here.”

Also read -  Appearing in films alongside Sandra Bullock to David Bowie - Here are 10 surprising and cheeky cameos of Donald Trump that you may have forgotten. Will he be removed from Home Alone 2?

Samantha Richelle is a jet-setter. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

According to her IMDB, she’s also set to star in short film The Cassandra Project, which is currently in production. She has several directing and writing credits as well.

Samantha Richelle runs her own fashion label. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

She runs her own fashion label
In January 2020, Richelle launched her own namesake fashion label. She told Assignment X that she was a design student who had worked for several other designers before deciding to bite the bullet and start her own venture.

Samantha Richelle’s brand offers ready-to-wear clothes. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

Her ready-to-wear line features a mix of casual and formal styles. Having been trained at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, her pieces are carefully and ethically manufactured in Manila, according to the brand’s website, although it seems to have since fully shifted its presence to Instagram.

Samantha Richelle comes from Bruneian royalty. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

With multiple gigs on the go, Richelle asserts that fashion is still a top priority: “I am an artist, but I am a fashion designer above other things,” she told Calyxta.

Her pieces have been worn by plenty of celebrities including Anne Curtis, Liza Soberano, Nicole Andersson and Kiana Valenciano, to name a few.

Samantha Richelle wearing a Versace scarf top. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

She’s a serious fashionista
Speaking of fashion, Richelle loves it – in case that wasn’t evident already. She also boasts a designer wardrobe that ranges from Dior handbags and Versace outfits to Roberto Cavalli gowns.

Samantha Richelle looking chic at an event. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

In terms of style, she told Calyxta that she prefers classic, timeless silhouettes over trends, and she dresses for comfort. “I am very inspired by the 40s and 50s era as I grew up watching old classic films and I’ve always been influenced by that sense of simplicity and tailoring from that era,” she shared.

Also read -  Check out the 10 new Asian billionaires who are hot on the heels of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and others

Samantha Richelle has nine tattoos, and possibly more, since she last shared in an interview. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

She loves tattoos
According to her interview with Calyxta in 2015, Richelle loves tattoos and boasts at least nine. “I got my first three in the span of two weeks,” she told the publication. “It became a little addiction, but I never regretted it.”

She added that it’s become a big part of who she is and that she respects the “art of it”.

Samantha Richelle with her partner Anton del Rosario. Photo: @samrichelle/Instagram

Her love life
According to an Inquirer report from 2016, Richelle got engaged to her footballer fiancé Anton del Rosario and he described how their romance was “love at first sight”.


They met when they were both on holiday at a bar called Fiama in Makati. “I kept on pushing for her but she kept on tossing me away and this went on for about a year and a half. And then things worked out, she finally found me attractive. I was very persistent,” said the player for Philippine national football team, Akzals.

It’s unclear whether they’ve since tied the knot, but they have a son and still regularly post pics together on social media.

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.

Tags from the story
Written By
First published in 1903, the South China Morning Post is Hong Kong’s premier English language newspaper, providing news 24/7, in-depth and quick scan reads, informative infographics, critical analysis, community discussions plus access to the most comprehensive news archive in Hong Kong. Over the decades it has built an enviable reputation for authoritative, influential and independent reporting on Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia.