BANGKOK – Thailand’s royal household published on Friday the first official portraits of Queen Suthida, a former flight attendant who was elevated to the royal position following her marriage to King Maha Vajiralongkorn on May 1.
The queen, 40, can be seen dressed in military attire, gala uniform and traditional silk garb in the 20 photos released by the Royal Household Bureau.
Suthida’s marriage to King Vajiralongkorn, 66 – a three-time divorcee whom she has been known to accompany since 2014 – took everyone by surprise earlier this month as they tied the knot in Bangkok’s Dusit Palace in the presence of members of the royal council and the government, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha.
The traditional ceremony, in which she appeared prostrated before the monarch in the official handout pictures released, was held three days ahead of King Vajiralongkorn’s formal coronation.
The coronation consisted of three days of ceremonies, including a colorful seven-hour procession through the streets of the capital.
On Tuesday, authorities declared a new official holiday to mark the queen’s birthday.
As is the case with the rest of the royal family, Thai subjects need to use special language to address Queen Suthida.
Little is known about the new queen, who worked as a flight attendant for Thai Airways before joining the elite royal guard.
In 2016, she was given the rank of an army general and the following year, she was appointed acting commander of the king’s security detail and given the rank of “thanpuying,” one of the highest titles within Thai nobility.
King Vajiralongkorn, who is known for spending long stretches of time in Germany and for his love for planes, has seven children from his three former wives.
Besides being the head of State, the king also serves as the protector of Buddhism, the majority religion in the Southeast Asian country.