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Thai Monarchy


Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, and the Royal Family is the spiritual heart of the Government.  The world's longest reigning monarch, the King is greatly beloved by the Thai people. 

All members of the Royal Family are held in the highest reverence in Thailand and visitors should show similar respect. Negative remarks about the monarchy may be considered lese majeste, an offence carrying severe punishment in Thailand.  Thai people have the highest respect towards their king and the Chakri Rama dynasty (1782) to which he belongs. Especially Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) and the actual king Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) are revered.  The name Rama refers to one of the most important deities of the Hindu pantheon. 

Long live the King

We will reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people.
These formal and sacred words were those spoken by a young 23 year old man as he was crowned King of Thailand on 5 May 1950. The words were the Oath of Accession sworn by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX of the Royal House of Chakri 
of Thailand. For a young man who never expected to be crowned King of his Nation King Bhumibol has lived up to his Oath and gone far beyond.

Many visitors to Thailand may not be aware that H.M. the King was not born in Thailand. In fact because his parents were studying in the United States he entered this world on 5 December 1927 at the Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge Massachusetts. The baby Prince was the third child to Their Highnesses the Prince and Princess Mahidol of Songkla, Prince Mahidol a son of the late King Chulalongkorn Rama V was studying medicine at Harvard University while Princess Mahidol was a nurse who had trained at the Simmons College in Boston. They had another older son Prince Ananda Mahidol who would accede to the Thai Throne in the fullness of time. So infant Prince Bhumibol while destined for an extraordinary life was not thought to be bound for Kingship.

However, the Fates conspired and over the following years took a series of most unexpected twists. Prince Mahidol developed a health condition and subsequently died from kidney failure. Princess Mahidol as a young widowed mother took her family to Switzerland where she felt they might live quietly and attend to their educational needs. Then in 1935 King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) abdicated the Siamese Throne (as H.M. King Edward VIII abdicated his throne in the United Kingdom) and eight-year-old Prince Bhumibols elder brother Prince Ananda Mahidol became the new King Rama VIII of Thailand. But the Fates had not yet finished!

Continuing his life and studies in Lausanne Prince Bhumibol was brought up in as near a normal atmosphere as possible. This was his Royal Mother's wish. Indeed the Prince had to earn his pocket money by doing small jobs around their residence picking fruit at a neighbors orchard and similar. He was an ordinary boy who enjoyed the pursuits of his peer group. Model making (he hand-wound the copper coil for an electric train he was making) and photography were his hobbies (a personally purchased ancient box camera costing Swiss Fr. 2.5 gave him his first disastrous photographic experience all of his photographs were blanks!). But Prince Bhumibol built on that experience and photography has remained a life-long hobby.

When Prince Bhumibol was almost 19 years old by now studying the Sciences at Lausanne University Fate again threw another dice. His elder brother King Ananda Mahidol died in tragic circumstances in Bangkok on 9 July 1946. And Prince Bhumibol who had never aspired to Monarchy acceded to the Throne of Siam. He became His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX of Siam. However as his Royal Mother and the Siamese Government wished their new King to continue his overseas studies the Coronation was postponed until mid-1950. In the interim the young Monarch had met a lovely girl fallen in love become engaged and married his fiancee one week before his Royal Coronation. This was Mom Rajawongse Sirikit H.M. Queen Sirikit who has been a loyal and faithful wife to her King mother to their children and dedicated to her country.

Behind a Majestic and Regal exterior H.M. the King is very much a modest man. He is an accomplished musician/composer and enjoys painting (oil on canvas is his forte) as a relaxation. Likewise the King is no mean man with a pen and after hearing a Buddhist sermon he authored the inspirational tale The Story of Mahajanaka which has been published in 1996 in picture form for everyone to understand and appreciate.

As a matter of fact His Majesty translated from English version to Thai during 20 June 1980-25 March 1983 Man Called Intrepid by William Stevenson and also during 5-25 December 1994 Tito by Phyllis Auty. In former years yachting was an enjoyed recreation and this Royal Sailor has won many Cups. Photography from the days of being a six-year-old with an ancient box camera to the present time is an on-going pastime. His Majesty can be as often behind a camera as in front.

On the subject of photography His Majesty while interested in various subjects has captured many endearing photographs of his beloved pet dog Tongdaeng which means Copper. Khun Tongdaeng a little bitch with mostly Basenji blood was gifted to the King when she was only five weeks old in 1998 and has been a faithful companion ever since. Her background is a little uncertain and she arrived at the Chitralada Palace looking mangy and quite skinny.

However H.M. King Bhumibol was not dismayed and as the pup grew to maturity identified Tongdaengs main bloodline as being Basenji. This is a most unusual breed in Thailand as in fact the ancestry can be traced back to royal dogs of the Pharaohs Court in Ancient Egypt. So little Tongdaeng of possible historic lineage came into the heart and home of H.M. King Bhumibol

Although brought up in an unpretentious life-style H.M. King Bhumibol is no ordinary person. By example he has led his Kingdom with great Majesty Dignity and Respect. He has earned his subjects adoration by personally helping them in many many ways (witness the numerous Royal Projects Hill tribe Development Irrigation Farming Flood Control etc.) often from the Royal Privy Purse. The King has visited each and every one of his nations seventy three provinces listening to his people eating with them walking with a camera and maps under the hot sun with them guiding them with suggestions and advice. H.M. King Bhumibol is at one with his subjects and they love him for it. He is the King of Thailand; they are the people of Thailand. Together THEY ARE THAILAND!

May His Majesty King Bhumibol have a very very HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many more to come in the future. LONG LIVE THE KING!


Articles about members of the Royal Families and their many good works for the people of Thailand.

King Bhumibol (Rama 9):

 His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej 
includes photos, history and Palaces


King Chulalongkorn, (Rama 5):

  King Chulalongkorn  - Brief and detailed History


H.M. Queen Sirikit:

Her Majesty <>  Mothers Day 12th August

Songs - Long live the King of Siam - click here
Tips for viewing videos on the internet - click here   (save your download usage)
Peak moment of 9 June