|King Rama X|
|King of Thailand|
|Reign||13 October 2016 – present|
|Predecessor||Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)|
|Heir presumptive||Dipangkorn Rasmijoti|
|Prime Ministers||Prayut Chan-o-cha|
(13 October 2016 – 1 December 2016)
28 July 1952|
|Father||Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)|
Maha Vajiralongkorn (Thai: มหาวชิราลงกรณ; rtgs: Mahawachiralongkon; IPA: [máhǎː wáʨʰíraːloŋkɔːn]; born 28 July 1952) is the current King of Thailand, since 13 October 2016. As the tenth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty, he is also styled as Rama X.
After his father's death on 13 October 2016, he was expected to succeed to the throne of Thailand but asked for time to mourn before taking the throne. He accepted the throne on the night of 1 December 2016 but will not be crowned formally until after the cremation of his father.
Vajiralongkorn was born on 28 July 1952 at 17:45 in the Ambara Villa of the Dusit Palace in Bangkok. When the crown prince was one year old, Somdet Phra Sangkharat Chao Krommaluang Wachirayanwong, the 13th supreme patriarch of the Rattanakosin Era gave the child his first name at birth, "Vajiralongkorn Borommachakkrayadisonsantatiwong Thewetthamrongsuboriban Aphikhunuprakanmahittaladunladet Phumiphonnaretwarangkun Kittisirisombunsawangkhawat Borommakhattiyaratchakuman" (Thai: วชิราลงกรณ บรมจักรยาดิศรสันตติวงศ เทเวศรธำรงสุบริบาล อภิคุณูประการมหิตลาดุลเดช ภูมิพลนเรศวรางกูร กิตติสิริสมบูรณ์สวางควัฒน์ บรมขัตติยราชกุมาร). He is the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit.
Vajiralongkorn began his education in 1956 when he entered kindergarten at the Chitralada School in Dusit Palace. After completing Mathayom 1 (through grade seven), he was sent to study at public schools in the United Kingdom. First at King's Mead School, Seaford, Sussex, and then at Millfield School, Somerset, where he completed his secondary education in July 1970. In August 1970, he attended a five-week military training course at The King's School, in Sydney, Australia.
In 1972, the prince enrolled at the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra, Australia. His education at Duntroon was divided into two parts: military training by the Australian Army and a bachelor's degree course under the auspices of the University of New South Wales. He was graduated in 1976 as a newly commissioned lieutenant with a liberal arts degree.
In 1982 he completed a second bachelor's degree in law with second-class honours at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University.
|Thai Royal Family|
After completing his studies, Vajiralongkorn served as a career officer in the Royal Thai Army. He served as a staff officer in the Directorate of Army Intelligence, attended the Command and General Staff College in 1977. Vajiralongkorn trained for periods with the US, British, and Australian armed services, studying unconventional warfare and advanced navigation. He is a qualified fixed-wing and helicopter pilot. In 1978 he became head of the King's Own Bodyguard Battalion. Later that year he interrupted his military career to be ordained for a season as a Buddhist monk, as is customary for all Thai Buddhist men.
Vajiralongkorn holds the ranks of General in the Royal Thai Army, Admiral in the Royal Thai Navy and Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Thai Air Force. He is qualified to pilot the Northrop F-5, F-16, and the Boeing 737-400. His military role in recent years has become increasingly ceremonial. As his father grew older, Vajiralongkorn took a more prominent part in royal ceremonial and public appearances. He officially opened the 2007 Southeast Asian Games, held in Nakhon Ratchasima. The event occurred one day after the 80th birthday of his father.
At age 26, the prince was ordained as a monk on 6 November 1978 at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). He stayed at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara for 15 days and was given the name "Vajiralongkornno".
|Monarchs of |
the Chakri Dynasty
Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok|
Phra Phutthaloetla Naphalai|
Public image and the media
Due to the lèse majesté law, criticism of the king, queen, crown prince, and regents is strictly prohibited in Thailand. However, Vajiralongkorn's private life continues to be a controversial subject of discussion, although not publicly. In the 10 January 2002 edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), an article appeared suggesting that Vajiralongkorn had business ties with then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. An immediate ban was placed on distribution of the magazine, and the Thai government, citing a threat to national security, suspended the visas of FEER's two Thailand correspondents, Shawn Crispin and Rodney Tasker.
In 2002, The Economist wrote that "Vajiralongkorn is held in much less esteem (than the king). Bangkok gossips like to swap tales of his lurid personal life... Besides, no successor, however worthy, can hope to equal the stature King Bhumibol has attained after 64 years on the throne." This issue of The Economist was banned in Thailand. In 2010, another issue of The Economist (which was not distributed in Thailand) asserted that Vajiralongkorn is "widely loathed and feared" and "unpredictable to the point of eccentricity", while the online journal Asia Sentinel alleged that he is "regarded as erratic and virtually incapable of ruling" and was blocked shortly thereafter. In a diplomatic cable leaked by WikiLeaks, senior Singaporean foreign ministry official Bilahari Kausikan asserted that Vajiralongkorn has a gambling habit which was partly funded by exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
On 12 November 2009 a home video was released to WikiLeaks, showing Vajiralongkorn casually dressed and Princess Srirasmi wearing only a g-string, all the while being attended to by several formally dressed servants, celebrating the birthday of the prince's poodle, Air Chief Marshal Fufu. Part of this video was broadcast on the "Foreign Correspondent" programme on the Australian government's ABC TV channel on 13 April 2010, as part of a half-hour documentary critical of the Royal family of Thailand.
On 19 January 2009, Harry Nicolaides, an Australian national, was sentenced to three years in prison for self-publishing a fictional book deemed to have committed lèse majesté. The offending passage alluded to rumours that "if the prince fell in love with one of his minor wives and she betrayed him, she and her family would disappear with their name, familial lineage and all vestiges of their existence expunged forever." The global news network CNN refused to air the passage. Nicolaides was later pardoned by the king.
In August 2011, the German judicial authorities in Munich impounded an aircraft, a Boeing 737, one of two belonging to Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn. Administrators seized the aircraft because of a 20-year-old Thai government debt owed to a now-defunct German construction corporation for the Don Mueang Tollway, that had risen to some €30 million. German authorities, representing the corporation's interests in bankruptcy, stated the measure was a "last resort" in seeking repayment. The Thai government, which had not responded to German demands, called the move "highly inappropriate". On 1 August, Vajiralongkorn's office announced he would pay the deposit amounting to €20 million himself. One day later the Thai foreign minister Kasit Piromya confirmed that the Thai government would pay the deposit.
Marriage and family
On 3 January 1977 Vajiralongkorn married Princess Soamsawali Kitiyakara (born 1957), a first cousin on his mother's side. They had one daughter, Princess Bajrakitiyabha (born 1978). Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn started living with actress Yuvadhida Polpraserth in the late 1970s and had five children with her. Although Princess Soamsawali had refused divorce for many years, Vajiralongkorn was finally able to sue for divorce in the Family Court in January 1993. In the court proceedings, Vajiralongkorn accused Princess Soamsawali of being completely at fault for the failed relationship. She was not able to refute the charges due to the prohibition against lèse majesté. The divorce was finalized in July 1993. Princess Soamsawali and her daughter continue to play a significant role in royal ceremonies.
When Vajiralongkorn was introduced to Yuvadhida Polpraserth, she was an aspiring actress. She became his steady companion and gave birth to his first son, Prince Juthavachara Mahidol, on 29 August 1979. He later had three more sons and a daughter by her. They were married at a palace ceremony in February 1994, where they were blessed by the King and the Princess Mother, but not by the Queen. After the marriage, she was allowed to change her name to Mom Sujarinee Mahidol na Ayudhaya, signifying she was a commoner married to a royal. She was also commissioned as a major in the Royal Thai Army and took part in royal ceremonies with Vajiralongkorn. In 1996, two years after the wedding, Mom Sujarinee (as she was now known) decamped to Britain with all her children, while Vajiralongkorn caused posters to be placed all around his palace accusing her of committing adultery with Anand Rotsamkhan, a 60-year-old air marshal. Later, the prince abducted the daughter and brought her back to Thailand to live with him. She was later elevated to the rank of princess, whilst Sujarinee and her sons were stripped of their diplomatic passports and royal titles. Sujarinee and her sons moved to the United States, and as of 2007, she was known as Sujarinee Vivacharawongse.
Vajiralongkorn married a third time on 10 February 2001, to Srirasmi Suwadee (royal name Akharaphongpreecha), a commoner of modest background who had been in his service since 1992. The marriage was not disclosed to the public until early 2005. She gave birth to a son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, on 29 April 2005 and was then elevated to the rank of princess. Her son was immediately elevated to the rank of prince. In a magazine interview, Vajiralongkorn stated his intention to settle down.
In November 2014, however, Vajiralongkorn sent a letter to the interior ministry asking for Princess Srirasmi's family to be stripped of the royal name Akharaphongpreecha awarded to her, following allegations of corruption against seven of her relatives. The following month, Srirasmi relinquished her royal titles and the royal name, was officially divorced from Vajiralongkorn. She received 200 million baht (U$5.5 million) as a settlement. They hsd been married for 13 years.
|By Soamsawali Kitiyakara (married 1977, divorced 1991)|
|Bajrakitiyabha||7 December 1978|
|By Yuvadhida Polpraserth (married 1994, divorced 1996)|
|Juthavachara Vivacharawongse||29 August 1979||born as Juthavachara Mahidol|
|Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse||27 May 1981||born as Vacharaesorn Mahidol|
|Chakriwat Vivacharawongse||6 February 1983||born as Chakriwat Mahidol|
|Vatchrawee Vivacharawongse||14 June 1985||born as Vatchrawee Mahidol|
|Sirivannavari Nariratana||8 January 1987||born as Busyanambejra Mahidol|
|By Srirasmi Suwadee (married 2001, divorced 2014)|
|Dipangkorn Rasmijoti||29 April 2005|
Focus on education
Vajiralongkorn has initiated education projects with the aim of improving children's access to quality learning and instilling the concept of lifelong learning. He has special ties to the Rajabhat University system of 40 institutions of higher learning. The chairman of the Council of Rajabhat University Presidents of Thailand said that Vajiralongkorn has presided over commencement ceremonies at all Rajabhat Universities nationwide and personally handed out degrees to all Rajabhat university graduates every year since 1978. It is estimated that over the past 35 years at least 2,100,000 degrees have been handed out by the crown prince to Rajabhat graduates. In addition, every year he donates 42 million baht to a scholarship fund benefiting Rajabhat students.
Styles, titles and honours
King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun of Thailand
|Reference style||His Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
- 28 July 1952 – 28 December 1972: His Royal Highness Prince Vajiralongkorn
- 28 December 1972 – 13 October 2016: His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
- 13 October 2016 – Present: His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (temporary title prior to coronation)
- English translation: His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Descended by Flesh and Blood of God Indra, Overlord of all Angels
Thai royal decorations
- Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri
- Knight of the Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems
- Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao
- Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant
- Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand
- Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn
- Member (Special Class) of the Order of Symbolic Propitiousness Ramkeerati – Boy Scout Citation Medal
- Freeman Safeguarding Medal (First Class)
- Border Service Medal
- Chakra Mala Medal
- King Rama IX Royal Cypher Medal (First Class)
- King Rama IX Rajaruchi Medal (Gold Class)
- Red Cross Medal of Appreciation (First Class)
- Denmark : Knight of the Order of the Elephant
- Germany : Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Japan : Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Portugal : Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Aviz (GCA, 31 December 1981)
- Spain : Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Charles III (13 November 1987)
- Sweden : Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim (13 February 2003)
- Sultanate of Terengganu (Malaysia): Second Class of the Most Distinguished Family Order of Terengganu (DK II)
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)
- Malaysia: Honorary Grand Commander of the Order of the Defender of the Realm (2000)
|Ancestors of Vajiralongkorn|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.|
- Vajiralongkorn accepted the formal invitation to become king on 1 December 2016. He was declared king retroactively to the day his predecessor and father's death on 13 October 2016. Prem Tinsulanonda acted as regent from that date.
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Local S/N:10318 ; AF/Unit:RTAF; Aircraft:91-0067; Details: Wore a special camouflage scheme only worn by RTAF F-5s in the aggressor role. Instead of the regular USAF FY/N on the tail, there is no. 904.91. The markings below the cockpit indicate that this is the personal aircraft of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
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An experienced diplomat should be able to greet anyone from a king to a despot, but nothing could prepare one US ambassador for the experience of meeting a military officer that happened to be a poodle.
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- , The Australian, 5 September 2008
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The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) confirmed the Thai government's contention that the RTAF in 2007 presented the Boeing 737 jet to the Prince for his personal use.
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When the Queen and Prince Philip arrive in Bangkok next week to begin their state visit to Thailand they will find sanctuary from media salaciousness.(dead link)
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It comes after seven of her close relatives were arrested in a purge of officials allegedly involved in corruption.
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VajiralongkornBorn: 28 July 1952
|King of Thailand