Kingdom's Crest
King Rama I

Above: HM King Rama I

The Royal House of Darakara descends from His Majesty King Rama I, founder of the Chakri Dynasty.

HRH Prince Darakara, the Prince Sri Suthep

His Royal Highness Prince Darakara was born on 30 June 1792, the 34th son of His Majesty King Rama I, founder of the Chakri Dynasty, and second son of Chao Chom Manda Peng Yai. He was created Prince Sri Suthep during the reign of King Rama III for his outstanding work at the Royal Handicraft Department, which oversaw the production of gold and silver handicrafts as well as other Thai traditional handicrafts. These handicrafts were mostly for Royal use as well as for the temples and other important places. Prince Darakara had 8 children namely,

1 HSH Princess (Mom Chao) Thud
2 HSH Princess (Mom Chao) Tin
3 HSH Prince (Mom Chao) Siri (1825-28 Feb 1877)
4 HSH Prince (Mom Chao) Noi (1832-5 November 1891)
5 HSH Prince (Mom Chao) Chandra (31 May 1844 - 8 August 1911)
6 HSH Prince (Mom Chao) Kon (cremated 27 July 1884)
7 HSH Princess (Mom Chao) Kosump (died age 64, cremated 20 November 1912 at Srakes Temple)
8 HSH Princess (Mom Chao) Yai

Prince Darakara died at the age of 57 in 1848. His descendents use the surname Darakara na Ayudhya.

Prince Chandra Suthep

Above: HH Prince Chandra Suthep

 

HH Prince Chandra Suthep

Prince Darakara's fifth child was born His Serene Highness Mom Chao Chandra, and was later upgraded to His Highness Prince (Pra Vorawongse Ther Pra Ong Chao) Chandra Suthep for his excellent work in the arts and crafts field. The prince died at the age of 68, and was cremated at Dhepsirindravas Temple on 20 May 1912.

Prince Chandra Suthep's had 3 sons, who were distinguished individuals in their own rights, and were bestowed different titles as their rewards.

1. Mom Rajawongse Perk Darakara, born on 9 September 1863, was created Mom Anuyantra Siriwongsa on 5 May 1893. He was later given the title of Praya Raja Srihayos. He died on 7 September 1932 at the age of 69. He was cremated on 29 December 1932 at Srakes Temple.

2. Mom Rajawongse Chim Darakara was created Mom Siripongsa Anupanta on 5 May 1893.

3. Mom Rajawongse Moon Darakara became Chao Praya Sri Pipat Ratana Rajakosa Dhibodi

MR Moon Darakara

Above: Chao Praya Sri Pipat Ratana Rajakosa Dhibodi (MR Moon Darakara)

ML Muanchandra Pravitra

Above: ML Muanchandra Pravitra

Below: with Prince Chitra Pridi Pravitra

Mom Luang Muanchandra and Prince Chitra Pridi Pravitra

 

Chao Praya Sri Pipat Ratana Rajakosa Dhibodi (MR Moon Darakara)

Mom Rajawongse Moon Darakara was born in 1877 at Wang Sapan Dum, or Black Bridge Palace, the third son of HH Prince Chandra Suthep.

In 1888, His Majesty King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) sent Mom Rajawongse Moon to England for further education, at Malvern College. He excelled in all activities, as well as many English sports at Malvern.

Mom Rajawongse Moon returned to Siam in 1897, having spent 9 years in England. His Majesty the King went on his first tour of Europe at the time, and commanded that MR Moon return with him on the Royal Yacht Maha Chakri. He was then presented to Her Majesty the Queen Regent Sri Bajarindra to become a part of Her Majesty's office. He became her consultant on all financial matters as head of the Privy Purse office of HM the Queen Regent.

In 1906, he was one of the members who started the Siam Commercial Bank, while he was Luang Prakij Angkanee. He resigned from the membership on 18 July 1906, as he had too much work within the office of the Queen Regent.

In 1910, MR Moon became Praya Boriboon Rajasombat, and became the head of the Privy Purse Office of Her Majesty the Queen Regent Sri Bajarindra.

Chao Praya Sri Pipat married Khunying Prapai of the Krairiksh family, daughter of Kun Yaowaraj Raksa (Prom Krairiksh) and had 6 daughters and 1 son.

1. Mom Luang Sangsom Krishnamra
2. Mom Luang Duangduen Darakara
3. Mom Luang Muanchandra Pravitra
4. Mom Luang Chankae Darakara
5. Mom Luang Praechandsri Darakara
6. Mom Luang Chandbodithep Darakara, only son
7. Mom Luang Umpa Darakara

Chao Praya Sri Pipat represented His Majesty King Rama VII on numerous occasions. One notable event was the opening of the Sala Chalerm Krung, the first modern cinema in Bangkok, which opened its doors on 2 July 1933.

Chao Praya Sri Pipat died on 1 January 1958, aged 80. The Royal Sponsored Cremation Ceremony was held at Dhepsirindravas Temple on 10 August 1958.

Mom Luang Muanchandra Pravitra

MR Moon's third daughter, Mom Luang Muanchandra Darakara was born on 10 December 1910. On 31 August 1934, she married His Serene Highness Prince (Mom Chao) Chitra Pridi Pravitra, son of His Royal Highness Prince Pravitra Vadhanodom, Prince of Prachin, and had 3 sons and 1 daughter:

1. Pol.Maj.Gen. Mom Rajawongse Chetchandra Pravitra
2. Mom Rajawongse Sujatichandra Pravitra
3. Capt. Mom Rajawongse Thavatchandra Pravitra
4. Thanpuying (Mom Rajawongse) Muanchit BhiromBhakdi

M.L. Muanchandra Pravitra was a modern person for her time. When her husband, Prince Chitra Pridi died young at the age of 46, she took the task of looking after her 4 children, sending them to be educated in England and the United States. She also managed her business, a fresh food and vegetable market on the land of the old Pravitra Palace, into a highly successful business venture, allowing her to live a comfortable life. She also never ceased to forget about the less fortunates of rural Thailand by her numerous sponsorships and donations, mainly for rural schools, as she believed that education is the key to the betterment of the livelihood of the people. She was also a devout Buddhist for which she made many contributions to the building of Buddhist Temples around Thailand. In her spare time, M.L. Muanchandra liked to travel both abroad and within her beloved country, expanding her knowledge.

She died on 22 September 1986, and was cremated at Dhepsirindravas Temple on 16 December 1986 attended by HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Darakara House

The neglected Darakara House, 2003

Darakara House No More

Chao Praya Sri Pipat's house was situated on Pra Sumeru Road, just off Rajdamnoen Avenue. After the marriage, Mom Luang Muanchandra went to live with Prince Chitra Pridi at the Pravitra Palace. After Mom Chuen Pravitra's passing, the prince turned the land into a market, which turned out to be a good business venture. The couple moved to live in a new structure within the compound of Darakara House with Chao Praya Sri Pipat. The land was then divided into two, with one half given to Chao Praya Sri Pipat's eldest daughter, Mom Luang Sangsom Krishnamra on her marrige. The main house was in the second half, shared between the remaining living children; Mom Luang Muanchandra, Mom Luang Chankae, and Mom Luang Praechandsri. Mom Luang Muanchandra lived with her family in the new building at the back of the land, while her unmarried sisters lived in the main house. Finally, Mom Luang Muanchandra bought the rights from her two sisters, and passed the property to her children upon her death. Thanpuying Muanchit, her youngest daughter wished to acquire the house and land for her eldest son, but her eldest brother rejected the offer, and promptly sold it to a company. It is such a great shame that such a historic property did not remain in the family. Mom Luang Sangsom's descendants still live on their half of the land, but feels uncomfortable with the new neighbours, who has neglected the old house, and turned the land into one large storage space. It is expected that the old house will be torn down in the future, to be replaced by something more commercial. What was once a grand family home, full of happy activities, has died an uncaring death. It is a shame that the Thais do not value such historic landmarks, especially one that had connections to their family. This is why a lot of old historic houses has been torn down, and replaced by modern office buildings. This is especially true on Sathorn Road, which was once dotted with beautiful aristocratic homes. Only two remain, but no longer private homes but part of commercial compounds.

Darakara House
Darakara House
Darakara House
Darakara House
View from the garden
Ceiling details
Once a beautiful reception room
Royals mixed with the beautiful gathered in a reception room in days-gone-by
Mom Luang Muanchandra was a devout Buddhist, and believed in destiny. She once mentioned that somethings that aren't meant to be, will never be, no matter how hard one works. Things that aren't meant to belong to a person, will never belong to that person. But, if somethings are meant to belong to a person, those things will come at their given times. From her wise words, I can come to a comfortable conclusion that Darakara House is meant to leave the family at its given time. And as a family, we all move on.....together or separately, though, is another question.
   
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Updated 25 September 2011