Princess Koko


Chao (Princess) Kokaew Prakaykavil of Chiangmai was born on 16 May 1934, youngest daughter of Chao (Prince) Kavilawongse and Chao (Princess) Siriprakai of Chiangmai, and her maternal grandfather was Chao (Prince) Kaew Navarat, the ninth and last ruler of the Kingdom of Chiangmai.
Princess Kokaew was educated in England since the age of 12, and after returning to Thailand in 1956, she married Police Major-General Thip Asvarak and has one son, Tinnakorn Asvarak, the very distinguished and popular event designer. The princess divorced after eight years of marriage, and was linked to HH Prince Varananda Dhavaj, son of HRH Prince Chudadhuj of Bejraburna, but the relationship did not last. She later married Mr. Roberto Romero and spent the last 30 years with him.

The princess was welknown in the Thai social circuit, where she became known as the Queen of Ribbon Cutting, as people believed that she would bestow luck on their businesses. Her trademark purple hair made her the centre of any functions she attended. She was well loved in society and ordinary people who came in contact with her, for her smiles and kind heart. She once told an interviewer that she would leave any problems she has behind, as she would not wish to burden other people with her problems. She also attended so many functions as she could not and would not want to refuse them. She believed that the people made it a point to invite her, thus she should make a point to attend them, not wanting to dissappoint the hosts.

The princess also thought of the less fortunate, and arranged many benefits for them, especially for those in the North of Thailand. It is also known that she always had a stock of coins in her car, so she could buy flowers and garlands from the children in the streets.

Workwise, she was president of Zonta International Thailand from 1996 to 1998. Later, she was a Public Relations consultant at International Cosmetics Ltd, The Mall Group (of the Emporium Shopping Centre and Siam Paragon) and Oleary Covermark Ltd, and beauty adviser at the Make-up Technical Institute (MTI).

Princess Koko, as sometimes she was affectionately known, definitely leaves a large void in the Thai Society that she has become a fixture, and to the many who had known her. She was one of the last great lady from the old guards, who saw the good old days of Thailand, witnessed the changing of times, and blended easily with the new generations.

The princess died on Sunday, 13 March 2005 from a stroke. HM the King bestowed upon her a golden casket, and wreaths from members of the Royal Family were placed by the casket in her honour.