Monarchy of Thailand
The current monarch of Thailand is King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose regnal name is Rama IX. The king has reigned since 9 June 1946, making him the world’s longest reigning monarch and the world’s longest serving head of state. Most of the king’s powers are exercised by his elected government in accordance with the constitution of the day. The king still retains many powers such as: being head of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, the prerogative of royal assent and the power of pardon. He is also the defender of the Buddhist faith, which is the national religion of Thailand. Despite the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, the king in accordance with every constitution, is "enthroned in a position of revered worship and shall not be violated." The constitution however confer the king and his royal family with no legal rights, except for the exemption from legal actions. As a result the monarchy are then protected by a criminal law in a legal concept known in the West as lèse majesté, against any threat, physical violation and especially defamation.
The king is assisted in his work and duties by the Private Secretary to the King of Thailand and the Privy Council of Thailand, and in consult with the head of the cabinet, the Prime Minister. In accordance with the constitution the king is no longer the origin of all laws in the kingdom, that prerogative is entrusted to the National Assembly of Thailand. All bills passed by the legislature however, require his royal assent to become law. The monarchy's household and finances are managed by the Bureau of the Royal Household and the Crown Property Bureau respectively, these agencies are not considered part of the Thai government and all personnel are appointed by the king alone.
His Majesty the King
King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, on 5 December 1927, younger son of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Mahidol of Songkla and the Princess Mother (formerly Miss Sangwal Talapat), and is the direct grandson of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and Queen Savang. His Majesty the King has one older sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Galayani Vadhana of Naradhivas, and one older brother, His Majesty the late King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII). His Majesty became King of the Kingdom on Thailand on 9 June 1946. The Coronation Ceremony came later in 1950, after His Majesty has finalized his education in Switzerland, where he met the aristocratic Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, who has since become HM Queen Sirikit. During that time, Siam has become Thailand, and was still unstable since the change from Absolute Monarchy to Constitutional Monarchy in 1932. The King came to the Throne after his brother's death, and was careful not to offend the military government. Since the change to Constitutional Monarchy, the people of Thailand was still in need of a King who can guide the country into prosperity. The Thai Kingship was seen as a pillar for the Thai people. 60 years on, many can still remember His Majesty's Oath of Succession to the Throne:
"We will reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people"
And what the King has said, has been done, and continues to do.
The Royal House of Thailand
Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit was born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara on 12 August 1932, daughter of His Serene Highness Prince
Nakkhatra Mongkol of Chandaburi and Mom Luang Bua Kitiyakara. The Royal marriage between Their Majesties the King and Queen took place on 28 April 1950 and Her Majesty was conferred the title of Somdetch Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Baromma Rajini, official title of the Queens of Thailand. In part of 1956, Her Majesty became Region of the Kingdom while His Majesty went into the monkhood, for which She was conferred the title of Somdetch Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Baromma Rajini Nath, or Sirikit the Region Queen. The Queen is completely devoted to His Majesty the King. She oversees many of the King's projects as well as introducing her own programmes to benefit the Thai people especially in the rural areas through her SUPPORT Foundation. The promotion of Thai silk by Her Majesty was a particularly important one, and has since become famous throughout the world. The year 2004 saw Her Majesty turning 72 - or 6th cycle birthday, which in Thailand is very auspicious. The Thai people jointly celebrated with activities throughout the year.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
HRH the Crown Prince of Thailand was born on 28 July 1952, the only son of the King and Queen. His Royal Highness was invested the title of Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Thailand on 28 December 1972. He received his education at Kings Mead and Millfield Schools in Great Britain, and at the King's School and the Royal Military College at Duntroon, Australia. He also received the Degree of Bachelor of Laws from Sukhothai Thammatirat University, Thailand. Since he was young, he was inclined towards the life in the military, and has since shown himself to be a great Military Man. After his father, he has immersed himself in activities in promotion of the general welfare and economic betterment of his people as well as activities in promotion of public health through the Crown Prince Hospital and the Maha Vajiralongkorn Foundation. He has also represented his father on numerous State Visits abroad, far too many to list in just a page. The Crown Prince is a much loved figure in Thailand, and will continue to be so for many years to come.
The Crown Prince has been married to HRH Princess Sri Rasmi , The Royal Consort, since 10 February 2004. The Crown Prince has 2 daughters and 5 sons, namely:
HRH Princess Bajra Kitiyabha (7 December 1978)
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Chudhavajra (29 August 1979)
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Vajaresra (27 May 1981)
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Chakrivajra (26 February 1983)
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Vajravira (14 June 1985)
HRH Princess Siriwanwaree Nareeratana (8 January 1987)
HRH Prince Teepangkara Rasmichoti (29 April 2005)
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was born Princess Sirindhorn Debaratanasuda on 2 April 1955, the third child of Their Majesties
the King and Queen. She was created the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on 5 December 1977 (a royal rank equal to that of a crown prince, but is not a crown princess) for her tireless work in all sectors for the people. She follows her father's every footstep, and is a most beloved princess of the kingdom. Her work is far too numerous to list here - a new website will need to be created just to list everything. She has set up many foundations, all for the betterment of the rural areas, notably the Sai Jai Thai Foundation.
Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn
HRH Princess Chulabhorn is the youngest daughter of Their Majesties the King and Queen, born on 4 July 1957. She achieved a Bachelor of Science in Organic Chemistry from Kasetsart University, Bangkok, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Mahidol University, Bangkok. Her numerous positions include Professor of Organic Chemistry at Mahidol University, President of the Chulabhorn Foundation, Chairman of the Working Group on the Chemistry of Natural Products, and Chairman of the Foundation for Promotion Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection.
The princess has two daughters:
HRH Princess Siribha Chudhabhorn (8 October 1982)
HRH Princess Adityadorn Kitigun (6 May 1984)
Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya
Princess Ubolratana was born HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya on 5 April 1951, eldest child of Their Majesties the King and Queen.
After finishing her education in the United States of America, she relinquished her royal title to marry an American commoner. She has lived most of her life in the United States with her then husband, Peter Jensen, and their three children:
Miss Ploypailin Jensen (13 February 1981)
Mr. Bhumi (Poom) Jensen (1983-2004)
Miss Sirikitiya Jensen (19 March 1985)
After her divorce, the princess has moved back to Thailand, and has embarked on many activities for the betterment of the Thai people. One notable project is the "To Be Number One" project which deals directly with the drug problems in the kingdom.
In December 2004, the Princess visited Phuket for an official function and a private holiday with her family, and witnessed first hand the Tsunami that devastated the South of Thailand. In the event, she lost her son, Khun Poom, to the waves. She has since set up the Khun Poom Foundation to help autistic children in Thailand.