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King of Siam 1910-1925

HRH Princess Bejaratana


His Majesty King Vajiravudh was born His Royal Highness Prince Maha Vajiravudh, Prince of Debdavaravardi, on 1 Januanry 1881, 29th child of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn, and the eldest son of Her Majesty Queen Sri Bajarindra.  He was appointed Crown Prince of Siam on 17 January 1897, at the age of 16 while studying in England, after the unexpected death of his half-brother, the first Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis.

As Crown Prince of Siam, the prince represented his father on many visits abroad, such as at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and later on at her funeral, at the installation of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, and the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of Great Britain.  The prince was also appointed Region of Siam on the King's last trip to Europe.  He became King Rama VI on the death of his father in 1910.

Rama VI was the first king of Siam to set up a model of the constitution at Dusit Palace.  He wanted first to see how things could be managed under this western system.  He saw advantages in the system, and thought that Siam could move slowly towards it, but could not be adopted right away as the majority of the Siamese people did not have enough education to understand such a change just yet.  He also set up Vajiravudh College, modeled after the Bristish system, as well as the first Thai university, Chulalongkorn University.

HM King Vajiravudh was most remembered as a great writer in the Thai history.  He wrote numerous poems, songs and plays.  He also translated many foreign works into Thai.

The King, with his western education, was the first monarch to practice the act of "marrying" in Siam.  Though this was not law at the time, he became "engaged" as well as "unengaged" to one lady, and married and un-married another.  He nevertheless, created only one queen, Her Majesty Queen Indrasakdi Sachi, and later demoted her to a lesser rank, to that of Princess Consort.  His only child, Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana, was by his third "wife," the Princess Consort Suvadhana.  The King had just one daughter, who was born two days before the King's death on 26 November 1925.  He was 44 years old.

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