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King Rama IX

 

King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, on 5 December 1927, youngest son of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Mahidol of Songkla and the Princess Sri Nagarindra, 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 had one older sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Galayani Vadhana of Naradhivas, and one older brother, His Majesty King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII).  His Majesty became King of the Kingdom on Thailand on 9 June 1946.  The Coronation Ceremony came later on 5 May 1950. His Majesty continued his education in Switzerland, and returned to Thailand in 1951. While in Switzerland, he met the aristocratic Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, who has since become HM Queen Sirikit.
During that time, Siam had become Thailand, and was still unstable since the change from Absolute Monarchy to Constitutional Monarchy in 1932. The people of Thailand was still in need of a King who can guide the country into prosperity. The Thai Kingship was, and still is, seen as a strong pillar for the Thai people to hold on to, while there is still uncertainty in the political arena, even to this day. More than 60 years on, many can still remember His Majesty's Oath of Succession to the Throne :
King & his people

"We will reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people."


And what the King has said, he has done, and continues to do.

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King & his people
His Majesty the King has been the guiding light during his more than 60 years as King of Thailand, making him currently the longest reigning monarch in the world. He has seen 27 Prime Ministers come and go, and is currently with the 28th Prime Minister of Thailand. These two dozens or so prime ministers represented different political parties, different thinkings, different view points, so it can be said that His Majesty has seen them all, as he went through so many changes, disruptions, political turmoils and more. As a constitutional monarch, he is above politics. His main focus has thus been trying to better the livelihood of the Thai people, especially in the rural area, and far-reaching corners of the kingdom. He has also played the perfect diplomat between two warring sides of the different governments and political opponents during the many political upheavals in the recent Thai history. With all the political turmoils, the King has stood by the Thai people, and act as a strong pillar of righteousness and guiding light for the people to hold on to.
King & his people

Constitutional Monarchy
A constitutional monarch is above politics. He lives under the law of the kingdom, but cannot be involved in politics. In fact, all royals with the ranks of Mom Chao (Serene Highnesses) up cannot be involved in politics, nor have any voting rights, including not being able to join political parties nor become politicians. In addition, the royals should not show their slant towards any particular political parties.
His Majesty King Bhumibol has acted righteously in all of the political events of Thailand from past to present. He has only become involved during extreme situations involving bloodshed, and then only as a mediator between two or more factions, trying to get to a solution of calm and peace. Lately, many has forgotten the role of the King, and tried to drag his good name into the political mess. The King continues to stand tall, and has not involved himself. He neither denies nor accepts any misconceptions thrown out at him, as the modern Thai people continues to show their ignorance in not knowing what a constitutional king can or cannot do. Even political individuals have also forgotten this, and tries to drag the King’s good name to their sides, only with the sole intention of trying to win over the voice of the people. Many descendants of the different royal houses (rankings of Mom Rajawongse down) have also become involved in the different sides, and have since drag the King’s name with them as well. They are in fact not counted as royals, but as citizens of the kingdom, who are descendants of royalty, but now have rights to vote and make known their political views. Even they have forgotten the role of a constitutional monarch, as well as how their fathers (Mom Chaos), as royals, were expected to act in the good name of the Thai Royal Family.

More than Words

More than words can express one's feeling towards King Bhumibol Aduyadej

King & his people

The King and His People
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is undoubtedly his people’s King; the Father of the Land. When he moved back to Thailand for good in 1951, he began his visits to his people almost straight away. He is the first Thai King, and Thai individual, to see every single corners of his kingdom. He has visited far-reaching places. Where there were no roads, he used helicopters; where there were no place for helicopters to land, he went by jeeps, horses, as well as on foot. It is said that he is the only individual in Thailand, past and present, and most probably the future, to see every single square inch of his land. With his visits, he brought medical teams as well as surveyors to plan the connection of all towns and villages, a route to prosperity. He helped with irrigation problems as the majority of the Thai people were farmers, depending solely on their crops for their income. He has also eradicated the opium growing culture of many hilltribes of the north, and proposed substitutions with valuable crops. During the time of natural crisis, the King has always been the first person to be on the scene. Only until recently that the King has not been able to travel to the affected places due to health problems, nevertheless, his team has continued to visit and help out according to the King’s instructions. In addition, he has continued to contribute personal funds quick and fast to the needy, as seen most recently with the flooding disaster around the Kingdom in late 2010, when the King’s team was the first to act the fastest, while government team became the slowest, especially with all the bureaucracies they had to go through before help could be dispatch to the flooding victims. With the continual disputes within the political world, the Thai people are becoming more and more dependent on the King to guide them through everyday lives; a source of simple strength needed to lead a happy life in this ancient Kingdom.

King & his people

 

King & his people

 

King & his people

The Thai Concept of Kingship
A King is the Father of the Land. It’s quite a simple concept, really. A father is expected to look after his children and give them the basic needs to live on, and provide good basic education for them, as foundation to make a living when they are grown up. The good children will then look after their father in old age, so that he will have a comfortable life after he retires.
His older and wiser children were to form a group that would continue their father’s work, to better the lives of the younger children and bring peace and prosperity to the family and their home. The King, though, is father to over 60 million children, and growing. He has looked after his millions of children quite well, as witnessed by his actions through his visits, his projects, and his personal funds, all for the betterment of his country. I have to say that he has been the hardest working monarch in the world, as his subjects were not as healthy as others, nor were living in good conditions. But, the Thai people were happy back then, as they had simpler lives, and had the very basic needs. The ones that were quite lost, and lived away from developed areas were looked after by the King, and they were then slowly but surely connected to the civilization that make up the Kingdom. He has tried to improve education by setting up schools in rural, unreachable areas, and provided funds for their continuations. It is so much a single person can do for the 60 million subjects. It could have been quite easy for the government, the supposedly wiser and mature children, to continue these projects, as the basic foundation have been laid. With sound education, the Thai subjects could have moved to a better life working in jobs that were provided by the government and the private sector. The subjects would have been happy, with better lives, and no quarrels in politics. The subjects, in turn, will come to look after their King as a child to a father. Unfortunately, the King does not get to retire. And, it seems no one is looking after him when he has entered old age.
A Father is also expected to be the pillar of strength for his children. Indeed, the King has certainly been a very strong pillar. With the cumbersome bickering between political parties, unending it seems, since Thailand changed from absolute monarchy to a constitutional one, with what is called the system of democracy introduced to the land. This constant bickering has not benefited the country much, though Bangkok has seen huge developments in terms of infrastructures and much else, the rural areas are still in need of catching up, where some far-reaching areas are still without electricity. So, the King travelled again and again, and tried to bring developments to these areas. Personal funds can never be enough without the government’s additional monetary help. So, with the King going it alone, the underdeveloped parts will be slow to see their light-of-day.

King and Queen
The Thai people, especially the rural Thais, need someone who really cares just to be there as a comfort among chaos. The King has been just that. Photos of the King and Queen adorn the walls of most homes in Thailand, for that reason. When they feel bad, they look up to the King’s photo for comforting thoughts. When they are happy, they look up to the King’s photo to thank him for having been their King.
   
The Royal Family of Thailand
Queen Sirikit
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.

Crown Prince of Thailand
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 first married in 1977 M.L. Somsavali Kitiyakara, a cousin from the Queen's side, who then became HRH (Pra Chao Vorawongse Ther Pra Ong Chao) Princess Somsavali. They have one daughter.* His second marriage was to Yuvadhida Polpraserth in 1994, hence she became Mom Sujarinee Mahidol Na Ayudhya. After their divorce, she became Sujarinee Vivacharawongse. They had 4 sons and one daughter.** The Crown Prince has been married to HRH Princess Sri Rasmi , The Royal Consort, formerly Srirasmi Akharaphongpreecha, since 10 February 2004. They have one son.***

The Children of the Crown Prince are:

HRH Princess Bajra Kitiyabha (7 December 1978)*
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Juthavachara (29 August 1979)**
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Vacharaesorn (27 May 1981)**
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Chakriwat (26 February 1983)**
HSH Mom Chao (Prince) Vatchrawee (14 June 1985)**
HRH Princess Siriwannawari Nariratana (8 January 1987) (previously HSH Mom Chao Busya Nambejara)**
HRH Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti (29 April 2005)***

The Crown Prince, his current wife, his daughters and youngest son reside in Thailand, while his 4 elder sons reside with their mother in the US.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
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.

For a closer look of the Princess, please visit her website

   The Golden Jubilee Network

Princess Chulabhorn
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 was married to, and have since divorced Flight Lieutenant Virayudh Disyasarin, and they have two daughters,
HRH Princess Siribha Chudhabhorn (8 October 1982)
HRH Princess Adityadorn Kitigun (6 May 1984)

Thanpuying Ubolratana Rajakanya

Thanpuying 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 since been bestowed royal decorations entitling her to use the title of "Thanpuying." The Thai people though uses the courtesy title of "Toolkramom Ying," an informal way of addressing a "Chao Fa" in Thai. 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 with the drug problems in the kingdom.

In December 2004, the Thanpuying 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.

Related Links

Royal Celebratory Emblems of Rama IX
Tribute to HM the King on his 84th Birthday, 2011
A Commemorative Page in Celebration of the Diamond Jubilee 2006
For a comprehensive history of the King, please visit the official site of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn - The Golden Jubilee Network
For a more complete look at the King and his art, please visit "Supreme Artist," the new art museum-on-the-net entirely devoted to HM the King
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