A female bodyguard to the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei has been remanded in custody on charges of stealing diamonds worth almost £9 million from her London home.

Waheeda Abdullah, who was previously known as Fatimah Lim, denies taking one blue diamond and one yellow diamond from Mariam Aziz in 2009.

Abdullah, 35, from Singapore, is alleged to have stolen the jewels - both gifts from the sultan - from Aziz's home in Kensington between 1 July and 31 December 2009.

One diamond, described as a 12.71-carat, pear-shaped, flawless, vivid blue diamond, is estimated at £8.1m, and the other, a 27.1-carat vivid yellow diamond, at £640,000.

Abdullah, a silver medallist in badminton at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, was hired by Aziz in 2003 as her badminton coach, before becoming her personal assistant.

Abdullah, who is charged with two counts of theft, is understood to have denied the allegations, saying she was instructed by her employer to sell the diamonds.

District judge Peter Clark remanded Abdullah in custody at Hammersmith magistrates' court in west London on Friday.

She was ordered to appear at Isleworth crown court, west London, on 27 August.

Aziz, a former flight attendant for Royal Brunei Airlines, married the sultan in 1981 and had four children by him. They were divorced in February 2003.

The sultan, once the world's richest man thanks to his country's oil reserves, has 12 children by three wives. His fortune is estimated at £8 billion.

According to his country's constitution he "can do no wrong either in his personal or any official capacity".