The king of Thailand conferred an interesting honor on one of his top generals in a ceremony marking a role that has not been used since 1921.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn named Major-General Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi as the new Royal Noble Consort last week, Royal Central reported. But that position is the official name given for the king’s chief concubine, and that title has now been bestowed on the Thai king’s longtime girlfriend.
In an elaborate ceremony which was televised last Sunday, Vajiralongkorn, also known as King Rama X, gave Sineenat – his former bodyguard – four medals including the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao, 1st Class, the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand and the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant. In accordance with Thailand’s royal tradition, she lay on the floor at his feet during the ceremony.
The British-educated king, who turned 67 on the same day, was joined by General Suthida Vajiralongkorn, his new wife and the official Queen consort of Thailand. The former Thai Airways flight attendant married Rama X in an official ceremony in May.
(Video: YouTube/The Telegraph)
The only son and the second of four children of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, Rama X has had quite a colorful past, according to Royal Central:
On 3 January 1977, he married his first cousin Princess Soamsawali Kitiyakara. Their only child Princess Bajrakitiyabha was born in 1978. Their divorce was finalised in 1993 and in the meantime, the future King had fathered five children with Yuvadhida Polpraserth – they finally married in February 1994.
However, just two years later their marriage turned sour, and they were divorced. Yuvadhida now lives in the United States with her sons. Their only daughter Sirivannavari Nariratana was named a Princess and remains in Thailand. On 10 February 2001, he remarried to Srirasmi Suwadee, and their only child Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti was born in 2005. This marriage too ended in divorce in 2014, and Srirasmi Suwadee relinquished her royal titles.
The Thai monarch with a playboy’s reputation anointed Sineenat, the 34-year-old former nurse, with ceremonial water as she was officially named the royal consort, making it the first time since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932 that a Thai king has openly practiced polygamy, The Times reported.
The last four Thai kings were all monogamous, although King Rama VIII never actually got married.
The king’s surprising marriage to Queen Suthida was also seen in video in another traditional ceremony in which she lay on the floor at his feet as the monarch bestowed a gift.
Rama X’s ceremony for his mistress on Sunday came as he is officially crowned king following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016. The former king ,who was beloved by the people of Thailand, had ruled for 70 years on the throne.
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