Thursday, December 1, 2016

King Rama X's older sons

It is unlikely that the people of Thailand will be able to read about their King Rama X's rather scandalous life.   Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed king this morning 50 days after the death of his much loved, much revered father King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Due to strict lese majeste law in Thailand,  it would be dangerous to write about the new king's salacious private life.

Rama X may be on his fourth marriage, according to new reports.  His first three marriages ended in divorce. His first marriage in 1977 was to his maternal first cousin, Princess Soamsawali.   Their only child, Princess Bajrakitiyabha was born a year later.  

By the time the marriage was dissolved by divorce. the Crown Prince was already living with Yuvadhida Polpraserth, a Thai actress, by whom he had four sons and a daughter.   Their first child, Juthavachara Mahidol, was born a year after his legitimate daughter.

The couple finally married in 1994, in a marriage blessed by the King.  Queen Sirikit chose not to bless her son's second marriage, after he had abandoned her niece for his eventual second wife.

By 1996,  the Crown Prince's second marriage was over.  His wife fled to Britain with their five young children.  He put posters up in the Palace, accusing her of committing adultery with a Thai air marshal.  She and their sons were banished from Thailand, and stripped of their royal titles.  Their daughter, Busyanambejra Mahidol, returned to live in Thailand with her father.  In 2005, her grandfather elevated her to the rank of princess.  She is now styled as Princess Sirivannavari.

All four of the sons live in the United States.

The Crown Prince 's  third marriage took place in 2001.  His new wife, Srirasmi Suwadee, was born into a modest Thai family.  She was not elevated to royal rank until after she gave birth in April 2005 to the couple's only child, a son, who was named Dipangkorn  Rasmihoti.  The little prince attends school in Bavaria, Germany.  He is his father's only legitimate son.

One can only imagine the feelings of Rama's four eldest sons, as they watch and read from afar about their father's accession to the throne. It must be said that Rama X is their father in name only, and their mother raised them without his help.   All four sons are now adults, and have successful careers.

Five years ago, the four sons released an official statement in response to questions about their lives.

"July 29, 2011


Dear Friends,

This year marks the fifteenth year that we have been living abroad. Over the years, we have received many kind words of encouragement and well wishes over the Internet and elsewhere from the people of Thailand; both from within Thailand and around the world. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for your kind regards, and we are thankful that so many of you have not forgotten us. We have realized that some people were curious or had questions regarding our whereabouts over the years. To eliminate confusion and false rumors, we have decided to take this opportunity to disclose our situation.

Over the years, we have been waiting patiently for the order for us to return to Thailand. As yet, we have received no word from our father, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, nor have we received any type of contact from the Royal Household. In 1996, while studying in England, we were ordered by our father not to return home to Thailand. We were specifically instructed not to use our royal titles and to use the last name “Vivacharawongse” instead. We never, at any time, voluntarily renounced our royal titles nor choose to surrender the “Mahidol” surname. Since we were not receiving any kind of support from the Royal Household, financial or otherwise, we moved to the United States with our mother.

When we were younger, we did not understand the drastic change in our lives, nor could we comprehend why we must live our lives outside of our beloved country. Our mother would remind us that we have to follow the orders of the Royal Family, and to show our gratitude and respect. Our situation, at times, was not at all easy. However, we did not stand idle. Instead we learned to push ourselves to our highest potential, and to behave in a manner that would not bring shame upon the Royal Family.

Juthavachara received a bachelor’s degree in avionics and maintenance and a master’s degree in aeronautical science. After working in the aviation industry, he is now attending law school in pursuit of a Juris Doctor degree. Vacharaesorn, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science, a Juris Doctor, and a Master of Law (LLM), is now a practicing attorney. Chakriwat, received his bachelor’s degree in psychobiology with chemistry minor, he is currently attending medical school, and will soon begin his clinical rotations. Vatchrawee double-majored in International Business and Finance, and has a Master of Business Administration. He is now attending law school in pursuit of a Juris Doctor degree.

We are also aware of the many rumors being circulated regarding Chakriwat’s health. The truth is Chakriwat has been battling Neurofibromatosis (type II) since he was thirteen years old. The disease causes tumors to appear along his nervous system, and surgery or radiation treatment is required every year or so to remove or otherwise treat these tumors. Due to numerous radiation treatments he has received, there has been some damage to his acoustic nerve, and he became deaf in one ear. He will receive another surgery in August of this year. Despite having to undergo these exhausting procedures on a regular basis, Chakriwat is determined to complete his medical training.

For many years we have lived our lives in silence, which caused some speculation that we wished to remain abroad. To the contrary, as much as we wish to return, we could not defy orders not to return, or speak out to clear our names. We were afraid to risk even demonstrating the slightest inference of disrespect toward the Royal Family. Many may wonder why we did not speak out against false rumors or allegations against us. The truth is, it is better to suffer in silence than risk harm to the institution. We have never given up hope that, one day, we would receive word from Thailand to allow us to return. Each year, we write to our grandparents, Their Majesties the King and Queen, our father, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and our aunt, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. We would write to give them updates on our lives, informing them of academic progress, any medical issues, and to send well wishes to Their Majesties and Their Highnesses on New Years and birthdays. However, our letters were never answered. The communication has always been one sided.

Many people continue to speculate regarding our situation or to spread false and malicious rumors about us. Rather than addressing these issues in the open, and risk offending the institution, we have chosen to remain silent. We merely wanted to use this correspondence as an opportunity to thank the many Thais who still care about us and remember us, and to state clearly that, every day, we wish to return to Thailand. For fifteen years, we have never set foot in our country, and we miss it far too much. Until we are permitted to return, however, we will remain loyal to the Royal Family, and pray for the future of our country.

We remain faithfully yours,






Unknown said...

Fascinating post.

Brent said...

I have been waiting for you to comment on the situation in Thailand! Well done ( again )

Unknown said...

Poor Thailand

Maureen said...

Marlene, do you know much about the situation in Thailand? I've never been there, nor had any urge to go, but the family dynamics played out like a soap opera in the past.
I was reading a while back that there were powerful factions wanting the throne to go to his sister who has a great reputation within and without the country. Not too many flattering things have been written about the new King, and I don't see him changing his love of excess anytime soon. What I see happening is that he is forced to abdicate after his behavior embarasses the country one too many times, his sister becomes monarch and his son is named heir.
I hope that the sons of the King are allowed to return to Thailand, as it seems that they can be a credit to the country.
I hope things work out for the best for all concerned.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Not a lot, Maureen. Female succession is limited to the absence of male heirs. The king disowned the sons years ago. Their sister lives in Thailand and has royal style. The youngest son (by the third wife, whose family was stripped of titles, etc., due to corruption) is said to have mental and/or physical issues. He goes to school in Germany. It is complicated.