His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim was born on 30 June 1984 at Johor Bahru, and is the eldest of six children of HRH Sultan Ibrahim and HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah.
HRH Tunku Ismail received his early education at the Sri Utama School in Johor Bahru and the St. Joseph Primary School in Johor Bahru. He continued his education at the Australian International School in Singapore. In 1999, Tunku Ismail furthered his studies at Hale School, Perth, Australia until late 2002.
Among his favourite sports are polo and football. HRH Tunku’s skill in polo was evident when he was awarded ‘Best in Riding’ at Dehra Dun, India, for bringing honour to the Indian Military Academy (I.M.A.). HRH Tunku Mahkota Johor is currently active in football. As the President of the Football Association of Johor, a position he held since 16 February 2012, HRH Tunku Ismail has built, led, and lifted the Johor football team’s performance to a higher level acknowledged by all. HRH Tunku Ismail’s excellence in football became more prominent when he was appointed as Advisor to the FAM President on 3 October 2014.
As the heir to the throne, Tunku Ismail’s education as well as discipline were especially given emphasis. With the consent of his grandfather, Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, HRH Tunku Ismail underwent military training as a Cadet Officer in the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun, India from 17 July 2003 until 11 December 2004. He was commissioned a Lieutenant upon completing his training. He was later sent to the 61st Calvary Unit in Jaipur, India for two years commencing from 15 December 2004 until 14 December 2006. HRH further underwent a Special Forces Course at the Iskandar Camp, Mersing from 14 July to 23 September 2008. He also underwent basic parachuting training at the Special Warfare Training Centre (PULAPAK) between 9 October and 19 November 2008. On 1 August 2010, Tunku Ismail was awarded the Honorary Green Beret of the Special Forces Group (GGK) for his leadership skills and his outstanding contribution in improving the Special Forces Group.
HRH Tunku Ismail was conferred the Order of the Crown of Johor Third Class (S.M.J.), and later be First Class, Dato’ Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor (S.P.M.J.), Most Esteemed Royal Family Order of Johor – 2nd Class (D.K. II) and First Class (D.K. I) by HRH Almarhum Sultan Iskandar. When his father, HRH Sultan Ibrahim, ascended the throne, HRH Tunku Ismail was awarded the Most Honourable Order of Sultan Ismail Grand Commander (S.S.I.J) and the Sultan Ibrahim Medal (P.I.S I).
On 30 June 2005, Almarhum Sultan Iskandar appointed HRH Tunku Ismail as Heir Presumptive to the Johor throne, after HRH the Tunku Mahkota Johor at that time. The appointment was announced during the opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh Johor State Legislative Assembly. On 8 April 2006, HRH Tunku Ismail was declared the Raja Muda of Johor. He was appointed and proclaimed the Tunku Mahkota Johor on 28 January 2010 (12 Safar 1431 Hijrah).
HRH Tunku Ismail had been appointed as the Regent of Johor several times, with the last one on 29 September 2012. From the appointment, HRH Tunku Ismail has gained the knowledge and experience to govern the state – he has seen to the welfare and condition of the people and the state of Johor. Furthermore, the participation of HRH Tunku Ismail in a series of the “Kembara Mahkota Johor” (KMJ) programme has provided him a golden opportunity to meet and foster closer relationship with the people of Johor.
HRH Tunku Ismail married Ms. Khaleeda Binti Bustamam on Friday, 24 October 2014.