Thailand

Last modified: 22 November 2020

The country

The state is known as Ratcha Anachak Thai in its national language. This means the Kingdom of Thailand. The country is being reigned by the Chakri dynasty.

Present-day Thailand used to be a network of city-states. The Thai slowly expanded their territory over nearly the entire Indochina peninsula. The first Thai Kingdom was Sukhothai (1238-1438). The Thai Kings of Ayutthaya gained power in the area in the 14th and 14th centuries. The Burmese took control of Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai mid 16th century, but at the end of the century the Thai had regained both kingdoms. General Phaya Taksin defeated the Burmese and proclaimed himself King in 1769. The new capital became Thonburi. After a coup in 1782 General Chakri became the first King of the Chakri dynasty as rama I. Bangkok became the capital of the country. King Rama II reopened relations with western nations. The country became a constitutional monarchy after a bloodless coup in 1932, and also got its first constitution. The country was called Siam until 1939 and once again between 1945 and 1949. The name was changed into Thailand. The Japanese invaded Thailand in 1941 and were defeated only in 1945.

Rama VII Prajadhipok was the first king of Thailand to abdicate in 1935. The young Prince Ananda Mahidol was chosen as the new King. Colonel Prince Anuwatjaturong, Prince Artit Thip-apa and Chao Phraya Yommaraj were appointed his regents. King Ananda Mahidol lives with his mother, brother and sister in Switzerland, where he received his education. He visited his country for the first time as a King in 1938. He only could return to Thailand once again in December 1945. On 9 June 1946 the King was found shot dead in his bedroom in the Boromphiman Throne Hall palace. Until today his death remains a mystery. His younger brother, Bhumibol Adulyadej. The young King returned to Switzerland to continue his education in law and polital science, while his uncle Rangsit Prince of Chainat was appointed the Prince Regent. Bhumibol Adulyadej returned only permanently after his marriage.

Sovereign

The current sovereign is Rama X Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, King of Thailand. He was born at Ambara Villa, Royal Dusit Palace, Bangkok, Thailand, on 28 July 1952.

He is the son of Rama IX Bhumibol Aduljadey, King of Thailand (1927-2016) and his wife Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara (1932-), who is known as Queen Sirikit.

Enthronement

Maha Vajiralongkorn succeeded his father Rama IX Bhumibol Aduljadey, King of Thailand (1927-2016), who died on 13 October 2016.

The coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn took place on 4 May 2019 at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.

Other details

The unofficial motto of Thailand is Chat, Satsana, Phra Mahakasat, which means Country, Religion, Monarch.

The King is a Theravada Buddhist.

Marriage and descendants

Rama X Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, King of Thailand married first in 1977, and divorced in 1991, Mom Luang Soamsawali Kitiyakara (born 1957).

Their children:

  • Princess Bajrakitiyabha (born 1978)

He married secondly in 1994, and divorced in 1996, Yuvadhida Polpraserth (born 1962).

Their children (the four sons are not in line of succession):

  • Juthavachara Vivacharawongse (born 1979)
  • Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse (born 1981)
  • Chakriwat Vivacharawongse (born 1983)
  • Vatchrawee Vivacharawongse (born 1985)
  • Princess Busya Nambejra (born 1987). The latter one was known as Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana since 2005. Since 5 May 2019 she is titled Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya.

He married thirdly in 2001, and divorced in 2014, Srirasmi Akarapongpreecha (born 1971), who was known as Mom Sirasmi Mahidol na Ayudhya.

Their issue:

  • Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti (born 2005)

He married fourthly in 2019 Suthida Tidjai (1978), who is since known as Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana. They don’t have issue.

2019 the King also appointed a Royal Noble Consort, Sineenat Wongvajirapadki (1985), formerly known as Niramon Ounprom. She became known as Sineenat Bilaskalayani. They don’t have issue.

Heir to the throne

There has not been appointed an official crown prince yet.

Postal address

Bureau of the Royal Household
Na PhaLan Road
Bangkok
10200 Thailand

Succession

Thailand is one and indivisible Kingdom and has adopted a democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State. The sovereign power belongs to the Thai people. The King as Head of the State shall exercise such power through the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers and the Courts in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. The King shall be enthroned in a position of revered worship and shall not be violated. No person shall expose the King to any sort of accusation or action. The King is a Buddhist and Upholder of religions. The King holds the position of Head of the Thai Armed Forces. The King has the prerogative to create titles and confer decorations. Whenever the King is absent from the Kingdom or unable to perform His functions for any reason whatsoever, the King will appoint a person Regent, and the President of the National Assembly shall countersign the Royal Command therefor. In the case where the King does not appoint a Regent, or the King is unable to appoint a Regent owing to His not being sui juris or any other reason whatsoever, the Privy Council shall submit the name of a person suitable to hold the office of Regent to the National Assembly for approval. Upon approval by the National Assembly, the President of National Assembly shall make an announcement, in the name of the King, to appoint such person as Regent. While there is no Regent the President of the Privy Council shall be Regent pro tempore.

In the case where the Throne becomes vacant and the King has already appointed His Heir to the Throne under the Palace Law on Succession the Council of Ministers shall notify the President of the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly shall convoke the National Assembly for the acknowledgement thereof, and the President of the National Assembly shall invite such Heir to ascend the Throne and proclaim such Heir King. In the case where the Throne becomes vacant and the King has not appointed His Heir the Privy Council shall submit the name of the Successor to the Throne to the Council of Ministers for further submission to the National Assembly for approval. For this purpose, the name of a Princess may be submitted, but only a daughter of a King. Upon the approval of the National Assembly, the President of the National Assembly shall invite such Successor to ascend the Throne and proclaim such Successor King. Pending the proclamation of the name of the Heir or the Successor to the Throne the President of the Privy Council shall be Regent pro tempore, unless a Regent was already appointed.

The king has the sole power and prerogative to designate any descendant of the royal family as heir to the throne. He also has the sole power and prerogative to remove the heir to the throne from his position. A descendant can be excluded from the line of succession in case of insanity, conviction of a serious crime under the law, unability to serve as Upholder of Buddhism or a marriage to a foreigner.

Titles

Until his coronation a King is titled Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua, and after his coronation he is Phrabat Somdech Phra Chao Yu Hua. The Queen before the coronation is Somdech Phra Rajini, while she is Somdech Phra Boroma Rajini or Somdech Phra Boroma Rajini Nart after the coronation. In English that would be His Majesty The King and Her Majesty, The Queen. In Thai the titles of other descendants are rather complicated. Children and grandchildren of a King would in English be His/Her Royal Highness Prince(ss) of Thailand. Great-grandchildren are His/Her Serene Highness Prince(ss) of Thailand. The courtesy title Khun is being used for children born to a royal mother who gave up her title upon marriage. More distant royal progeny are considered commoners.

The Kings of Thailand

Rama I Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (1737-1809)1782-1809
Rama II Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (1767-1824)1809-1824
Rama III Nangklao (1787-1851)1824-1851
Rama IV Mongkut (1804-1868)1851-1868
Rama V Chulalongkorn (1853-1910)1868-1910
Rama VI Vajiravudh (1880-1925)1910-1925
Rama VII Prajadhipok (1893-1941)1925-1935
Rama VIII Ananda Mahidol (1925-1946)1935-1946
Rama IX Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-)1946-2016
Rama X Rama X Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (1952-)2016-

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