The Royal Family of Thailand
His Majesty the King and M.R.Sirikit Kitiyakara were married in the 1950’s, a great event for the Thai people after the traumas of World War Two and the strange and sudden death of the previous king.
Since then, Their Majesties have been hardworking and unselfish in the way they have helped the poor people of Thailand. No matter where they are needed, they will be there, helping people, often in the face of adversity, to become self-reliant again.
The Thai Royal Family has survived mainly due to their adaptability in times of change. They are very compassionate and full of vitality.
The first kings ruled over Sukothai, the first integrated kingdom founded 800 years ago. The first king was King Ramkhamhaeng the Great (1275-1317) and it was during his reign that the concept of paternalistic rule was created, where the ruler was in tune with his people’s needs and would guide them. This idea was lost during the 4 century Ayutthaya period, where the rulers were inaccessible, until the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty in 1782, where rule was based on Budhism. This is when Bangkok was named as the capital. The present King his majesty is the ninth King Rama IX and a continuation of the same Chakri dynasty that came to power way back in 1782. The absolute rule of the monarchy ended on 24th.June 1932 when there was a coup, and the first constitutional monarch was King Prajadhipok (VII).
In 1946, 19 year old Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej became the 9th Chakri King Rama IX and in 1948 became engaged to Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, the daughter of the Thai ambassador to France. Their Majesties were married on the 28th.April 1950.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej spent many years abroad in education prior to his ascendance to the throne and is multitalented in music and has an avid love for Jazz, loves sailing and languages, amongst others. One of the most important trips that Their Majesties made was when, with the opening of a northern rail link, they spent 22 days visiting Chiang Mai, an area of Thailand which had never before seen their King. Today, Their Majesties have visited all 76 provinces, reaching some villages by helicopter, boat or even on foot. With alternative royal residences to Bangkok all over Thailand, Their Majesties have become the most accessible Royals ever and greatly loved by all Thai’s and admired by every international head of state that has met them.
His Majesty the King is the longest reigning monarch in the world today since his ascendance to the throne in 1946 and spends much time consulting with local monks, farmers and government officials, initially funding many projects of development himself. He set up the Chai Pattana Foundation to fund any emergencies or initial stages of development, which has funded around 1,000 royally initiated projects.
One of the first projects was with the northern tribes in the mountains, who would clear areas of natural forest and then grow poppies for opium for the international drug trade. Now, they grow other much more profitable crops of fruits, coffee, chrysanthemums, etc., the royal assistance helping with methods of growing and marketing and, as a result of increased success, providing schools and medical facilities. Rather than the deforestation caused by logging, increased pressure for agricultural land from the increasing population, royal assistance has developed re-forestation, more efficient use of agricultural land, planting fruit orchards, and education on preserving the forests.
Their Majesties now have four children, namely:-
- Her Royal Highness Princess Ubol Ratana, b. 5th April 1951, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- His Royal Highness Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, b. 28th July 1952, in Bangkok, Thailand.
- Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn, b. 2nd April 1955, in Bangkok, Thailand.
- Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn, b. 4th July 1957, in Bangkok, Thailand.
His Majesty is also the Highest Commander of the Armed Forces, and tends
to all the needs of the country’s army personnel, such as their morale, equipment
and bodily ills or comforts.
In addition, His Majesty is the Country’s Supreme Representative in Foreign Affairs, and Their Majesties have visited over 25 countries and received visits from Foreign Heads of States, promoting diplomacy and understanding between countries.
Long live his gracious Majesty and good health to all members of the Royal Family