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Prince Yugala (1883-1932)

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HRH Prince Yugala Dighambara, Prince of Lopburi, was born on 17 March 1883, 41st son of HM King Chulalongkorn, and first son of HRH Princess Sutdhasineenath. He married his first cousin, HRH Princess Chalermkhetra Mangala, daughter of HRH Prince Bhanurangsri Savangwongse, younger brother of HM the King. He held many important posts such as Samuha Thesabhibarl of Nakorn Sri Dharmaraj (Lord Lieutenant of Nakorn Sri Dhamaraj), Viceroy of the Southern Provinces, Minister of Interior, Member of the Privy Council of Kings Rama VI and VII, and Member of the Supreme Council of State to King Rama VII. The prince also represented Siam at the funeral of HM King Christian IX of Denmark in 1906 and the wedding of TM King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain that same year.

As the Princess Chalermkhetra was a royal by birth, their children held the titles of Phra Chao Vorawongse Ther Phra Ong Chao, and became HRHs. Their children are as follows:

Princess Chalermkhetra (1893-1957)

1. HRH Prince Bhanubandhu Yugala (1910-1984), father of HSH Princess (Mom Chao) Bandhu Savali Yugala, mother of HRH Princess Somsawali (Kitiyakara) who became the first wife of HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Thailand's present crown prince. Prince Bhanubandhu represented Thailand at the cremation of HM King Sisavang Vong of Laos in 1961, the wedding of TRH Crown Prince Birendra and Crown Princess Aishwarya (the tragic King and Queen of Nepal) in 1970, the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire at Persepolis in 1971, the funeral of HM King Frederik IX of Denmark in 1972, with HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at the funeral of HM King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden in 1973, and the coronation of HM King Birendra of Nepal in 1975. Another son of the prince was HSH the late Prince Thitibandhu Yugala, a very colourful character in Thai Society, and a bon vivant. Later in life, Prince Thitibandhu married a much younger girl from a poor background and was rumoured to have been slowly poisoned to death by this wife. The wife was later jailed for the crime together with her lover, but years later, she was released because there was no substantial evidence. She has since disappeared from the social scene.
2. HRH Prince Chalermbala Dighambara (1913-1944), father of HSH Prince (Mom Chao) Mongolchalerm Yugala, who is presently styled the most senior member of the Descendents of King Rama V, and has since dutifully attended all Royal Official Functions with his wife, American-born Mom Betty Yugala Na Ayudhya. Another son, Prince (Mom Chao) Dighambara Yugala is an adventurer and well travelled personality of Thailand, and a welknown foodie who spends most of his time in the North of Thailand.

3. HRH Prince Anusara Mongolkara (1915-1998) was probably the first film maker in Thailand. He studied film-making in Hollywood, and he was an intern at Twentieth Century Fox. His wife, Mom Ubol Yugala Na Ayudhya, a great beauty, also went to study make-up for films. Together they set up Lavo Films, and produced many Thai classics. Their son, HSH Prince (Mom Chao) Chartrichalerm Yugala continues in the movie business and produced many Thai movies which many have become classics. One example was the mega-movie "Suriyothai," under the Royal Patronage of HM Queen Sirikit. The film caught the eyes of his friend, Francis Ford Coppola, who edited the film for the international audience. Another son, Prince (Mom Chao) Chulacherm Yugala is rather an embarassment to the Yugala family, having tried to involve himself in politics, which is forbidden by law for Thai royalties. What is worst is that he has also borrowed THB 2 million from a young man, to support the now defunct Rajvithi football team which he was involved with. To this day, he has not pay back that money. The case went to court, with delayed ruling. It could have been because of his royal standing, or not, one cannot be certain. He has since declared bankruptcy, which conveniently wiped out his unpaid debts to the young man, the owner of Bangkok Glass Football Club, as well as to many others apparently. This young man showed class by not persuing the matter further. It is a Thai thing to just let things go, particularly when these two parties are distantly related. Personally, I find it appalling and just want to record it somewhere, so here it is. It is such a shame that one who was born highly to act in such a lowly way. I'm sure it would have made Her late Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vatana, whom the prince served, felt disgusted for she was the model of Royal virtue. Some would say that there is always one flawed seed in a family. This is a most perfect example of that saying.


Rama V's Teachings

As a reminder of a great royal example, King Chulalongkorn, who was Prince Chulacherm's forebear, I'd like to place a link to our beloved king's teachings to his four eldest sons when they were sent to be educated in England. A copy of The Royal Teachings has been printed in the Commemorative Book of Prince Kitiyakara given out during his funeral, a copy of which is stored at the University of Ohio's archive. A complete English translation is near the end of the book.

It would be great if the descendants of King Chulalongkorn, and all kings of the Chakri Dynasty, could read it, to remind themselves of how their forebear has taught his children, teachings which should have been passed down from generation to generation. The king's beliefs is what made a strong base for not just a great king, but a uniquely beautiful and unmatched human being.

Updated 28 April 2017