Thai Land King Shocks World By Marrying Personal Bodyguard

So you think England’s Prince Harry surmounted conventional ‘rules’ by marrying an American actress who is black?

Well, another monarchy has shocked the world.

Just days before his official coronation, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Wednesday married the deputy head of his personal guard force and gave her the title Queen Suthida.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his consort, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn named Queen Suthida  wedded in Bangkok, Thailand May 1, 2019.

The surprise announcement was carried in the Royal Gazette, and footage from Wednesday’s wedding ceremony was later shown on the nightly Royal News segment aired on all Thai television channels.

Vajiralongkorn, 66, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016, after 70 years on the throne.

He is due to be officially crowned in elaborate Buddhist and Brahmin ceremonies on Saturday, followed by a procession through Bangkok the next day.

Suthida, 40, is expected to participate in some of the coronation events.

Here are some facts about the new queen from the palace’s household bureau, past royal decrees and media.

  • She was born 3 June 1978, as Suthida Tidjai.
  • She graduated from Assumption University, a private university in Bangkok, with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts in 2000, according to the Thai Rath newspaper.
  • She worked as a flight attendant at Thai Airways before joining the protection unit of then-Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.
  • Criticising or insulting her is a crime under Thailand’s lese majeste laws, which carry punishment of up to 15 years in prison. The king, queen, heir to the throne and regent are covered under the law.
  • She already held the rank of general in the Royal Thai Army before her marriage, having been promoted to the position in December 2016 by King Vajiralongkorn by royal decree shortly after he took the throne following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
  • Before the wedding, she was deputy commander of the King’s Own Bodyguard Regiment. The king himself is commander of the unit, and he first designated her to the special officer unit of Crown Prince’s Bodyguard Regiment in 2013.
  • She made her debut on Royal News, a nightly segment about the king and his family aired on all Thai television channels, just hours after her wedding.
  • The wedding came as a surprise to many Thais because the palace had never previously acknowledged any personal relationship between her and King Vajiralongkorn, who has previously been married and divorced three times.
  • She has been awarded royal honours in 20 royal decrees, the first in 2012 when King Bhumibol awarded her the Order of the White Elephant for her “honesty, loyalty and responsibility… dedication and sacrifice” in service to then Prince Vajiralongkorn.
  • The royal decree named her as Lieutenant Colonel Suthida Vajiralongkorn.
  • During this weekend’s coronation, the king is likely to bestow his new bride with new royal titles. It is a tradition for a new monarch to grant new titles to family members.

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