You can read this subscriber-only article in full, All done! It is difficult to say whether the charm offensive is working with Thai protesters, who have created memes putting the king’s words next to images of crackdowns at demonstrations. Having been the royal consort for more than a decade, Princess Srirasmi, the official wife of Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn… Official photos show Suthida Vajiralongkorn na … How K-Pop Helped Fuel Thailand's Political Awakening. Journalists who covered the event were told to wear yellow ties. Sign up for the ST Asian Insider newsletter to get exclusive insights into Asia from our network of overseas correspondents. Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters. “Please, no selfies with the king, no flash photography. One of them has been “Support Article 112,” the law criminalizing insults against the Thai king, queen, heir apparent or regent with up to 15 years in prison. Others held a trivia game to answer questions about the previous king, and handed out small prizes. A woman takes a photo of a mural with the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej next to his son the current monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who can be seen in military uniform. By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy. Vajiralongkorn often makes headlines — even on seemingly insignificant stories. Several have also recently been summoned to answer charges under the royal defamation law. His first wife, Putri Soamsawali, is his cousin who retained the title of princess even after being divorced by Vajiralongkorn in 1991. In … But in 2021, they would “increase the pressure.”. We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Vajiralongkorn had five children with his second wife Sujarinee. Queen Suthida is King Vajiralongkorn’s fourth wife. SPH Digital News / Copyright © 2020 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. On the walking route there, the entire street was turned into a festival-like atmosphere with photos and portraits explaining the contributions the royal family have made to Thailand. It was held in a flat, grassy area in front of the royal palace, one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist spots. King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his consort, Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayutthaya, at their wedding ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 1, 2019.  Anti-Lukashenko protesters in Belarus try out new strategy to outsmart authorities King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 66, became the constitutional monarch after the death of his much-loved father in 2016. Throughout their marriage, he fathered five children with his mistress Yuvadhida Polpraserth, an aspiring actress. IDs were also scanned with a smartphone. The birth of Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on 28 July 1952 was a moment of great relief for Bhumibol and his wife, Queen Sirikit; at last they had a … There was a hush over the crowd, no one said a word, and many were glued to the television screens that were placed around the event. The royal command by 67-year-old King Maha Vajiralongkorn, made public Monday, came just three months after he granted 34-year-old Sineenatra Wongvajirabhakdi the consort title, reviving an old palace tradition of taking a junior wife. Thai consort stripped of title for sabotaging Queen’s appointment: Who are the 2 women? Bestowed with the title Queen Suthida, she became his fourth wife. King Maha Vajiralongkorn had five children with Sujarinee while he was still married to his first wife. A Royal Household Bureau handout photo shows Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun wearing a crown during the coronation ceremony at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, 04 May 2019 Queen Suthida is King Vajiralongkorn’s fourth wife. Thailand's "lese-majeste" law prohibits insulting, defaming, or threatening the monarchy. Violations carry large fines and prison sentences of up to 35 years. All rights reserved. The King made Ms Suthida a full general in December 2016, and the deputy commander of the king’s personal guard in 2017. He Fled the Country. They can read the article in full after signing up for a free account. King Maha Vajiralongkorn … In October, Twitter said it had removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Thai army, which denied that it was carrying out information operations through social media. Traveling partly in a golf buggy with family, the king made his way through the crowd, smiling all the time and waving. Maha’s fourth wife, former air stewardess Suthida Tidjai, tied the knot with him in 2019. “The fact that they are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon is to try to keep up with the new societal trends,” Siriporn told VICE world News. However, Vajiralongkorn's private life continues to be a controversial subject of discussion in Thailand, although not publicly. Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn in central Bangkok on May 9, 2019. In the 10 January 2002 edition of the Far Eastern Economi… The following year, they welcomed daughter Princess Bajrakitiyabha though divorced in 1993. King Maha Vajiralongkorn legally married his long-term consort, Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, on May 1, 2019 in Bangkok. One of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s first major acts was to transfer all the holdings in the vast company, known as the Crown Property Bureau, to his personal ownership, giving him control of … Prince Vajiralongkorn has seven children from three wives, all of whom he wound up divorcing. King Maha Vajiralongkorn has legally married Ms Suthida, but the date of their marriage was not specified. He has been married and divorced three times before and has seven children. The billionaire king of Thailand is running out of friends, at home and abroad. Also read: 5 Controversial Facts of the King of Thailand Maha Vajiralongkorn. Launch New York Times, 6 November 2019, King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been married four times. King Vajiralongkorn at his coronation He married his first wife, Princess Soamsawali Kitiyakara, in 1977 and the couple welcomed their daughter, Princess Najrakitiyabha. This year he has spent more time in the country than in 2019. Photo: Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj. “It is a blessing for my life to be that close to them [the royal family],” one woman said while riding the train to the scene. In the country, the king’s image is associated with being the father of the people, and royalist supporters may sometimes refer to the king as “father.”. King Maha Vajiralongkorn's wife Suthida Tidjai and his alleged lover Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi seen at service Both women wearing military dress, … I don't think the strategy is designed to ‘win over’ the palace's detractors. In 2014, King Vajiralongkorn appointed Ms Suthida Tidjai, a former flight attendant for Thai Airways, as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit. Vajiralongkorn is protected by one of the most strictly enforced lèse majesté laws in the world. By signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content. Vajiralongkorn has had three previous marriages and divorced his last wife, with whom he has a son, in 2014. The 66-year-old king ascended the throne when his late father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died in 2016 after seven decades on the throne. The Thai king’s appearance earlier this month was on Dec. 5, the birthday of the previous king and also Thailand’s Father’s Day. The noble consort Sineenat was purged in October. However, during … Months of pro-democracy protests have called for the monarch’s powers to be reduced and for his riches to be managed more transparently. Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn waves to royalist supporters during a ceremony to commemorate the birthday of the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang in Bangkok on Dec. 5, 2020. King Maha Vajiralongkorn (center), also known as King Rama X, sits alongside his wife General Suthida Vajiralongkorn (right) as he names Major-General Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi (left) … He has patted a man on the shoulder and called him “very brave” for supporting the monarchy, a rare up-close gesture for a member of the royal family, though in keeping with past public outings by his father. WIFE #2. The film showed the then-64-year-old Vajiralongkorn roaming a shopping mall in Munich, Germany, where he lived most of the time, accompanied not by his wife but his mistress. PHOTO: REUTERSÂ. The protest movement has slowed in recent weeks, but it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, and recent comments indicate a resurgence. A recent demonstration outside at Siam Commercial Bank, in which the royal family has a majority stake, and at the 11th Infantry Regiment (King’s Guard). Security was lighter than expected, though guards searched bags and asked participants to take off their masks and hold their ID next to their face. No. People waved, smiled, and chanted “long live the king!” and “we love the king!” There were LED neon banners with the slogan “we are the citizens of the king.”. In anticipation, thousands of people sat shoulder to shoulder in the evening heat, eager to get a rare, up close look at one of the richest and most powerful monarchs in the world. Ms Suthida seen behind King Maha Vajiralongkorn during a royal ceremony in Bangkok, on April 6, 2019. died in 2016 after seven decades on the throne, In Thailand, a white elephant fit for a new king, Thailand rehearses elaborate $43 million coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. She appeared in a leaked controversial video that displayed the decadence of the royal family. Groups of families brought their children and friends chatting excitedly. Most people wore yellow, the color associated with the king and by extension the monarchy. The image stands in stark contrast to the gruff general who launched the 2014 coup and now heads the government following controversial elections last year. Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayutthaya, 40, has long been rumoured to be romantically linked with King Vajiralongkorn since he was the crown prince, but their relationship was not made public until now. King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who spends much of his time in Germany, in … Ms Suthida, 40, has long been rumoured to be romantically linked with King Vajiralongkorn since he was the crown prince, but their relationship was not made public until now. On a recent evening earlier this month, the Thai king was scheduled to appear just after 7PM in front of the royal palace in Bangkok. Though this particular event takes place annually, it felt more laid back than usual. Experts say the powerful monarch is taking a friendlier approach in the wake of unprecedented pro-democracy demonstrations. “And even if I couldn’t make it, I would light a candle at home while watching it live on TV.”. In response, experts say the 68-year-old monarch, who ascended to the throne after the death of his long-reigning father Bhumipol Adulyadej in 2016, has been more visible and approachable in increased interactions with the public. 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