BANGKOK – Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn announced on Wednesday he had wed a general of his royal guard, who has now officially become the country’s new queen, a few days before his upcoming coronation.
Vajiralongkorn said in a statement issued through the Royal Gazette, the royal household’s official publication, that he had married his new wife – who until now served as the acting commander of the royal security command’s aide-de-camp department – in accordance with law and tradition.
“His Majesty has named Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayutthaya, the Supreme Royal Consort, as Queen Suthida, who will hold the royal title as part of the royal family from now on,” read the statement.
The statement did not specify the date on which the nuptials took place.
The announcement comes mere days before the scheduled start of the official coronation ceremony of King Vajiralongkorn – who has assumed the regnal name of King Rama X of the Chakri dynasty – which is set to take place between May 4-6.
The coronation comes three years after the death of King Vajiralongkorn’s predecessor, his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Although the former took over the role of monarch immediately upon King Bhumibol’s passing, the coronation ritual was delayed to allow for a long period of mourning for his popular progenitor.
The new queen had been seen taking part in several official events with the king since 2014, including the previous monarch’s grand funeral held in 2017.
King Vajiralongkorn has previously been married and divorced on three separate occasions.
His first marriage to his cousin, Princess Soamsawali Kitiyakara, lasted between 1977-93.
His second wife was a commoner, actress Yuvadhida Polpraserth, who later took the name Mom Sujarinee Mahidol to indicate her relation to royalty. They were married in 1994 and divorced two years later.
The now-king’s third spouse was Srirasmi Suwadee, another plebeian who had been employed as a servant in his household. Their marriage lasted for over a decade before she was stripped of her royal titles and the couple divorced in 2014.