Vajiralongkorn succeeded to the throne after the 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades. Yet the crown also acts as a real-world symbol of an institution reliant on spectacle: at 7 kilograms, it is one of the heaviest coronation crowns still in use today (the St Edward Crown, placed on the head of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, came in at a paltry 2 kilograms). The Great Crown of Victory is an expression of the mystique with which the Thai royal family has surrounded itself. Video of the king was reportedly shot at a mall in Munich last year in July, and has been widely shared on the social … THAILAND could lose all access to Facebook today after footage of its heavily-tattooed king strolling around in a crop top went viral. During the ceremony he was carried on a golden platform in a spectacular six-and-a-half-hour procession through Bangkok’s historic quarter. United Press International. At a gala dinner for a jazz band from New Orleans, the dog attended wearing “formal evening attire complete with paw mitts”, according to an account relayed in a diplomatic cable later published by WikiLeaks. ... such as wearing a tightfitting crop top over a bare torso on a … Swiss police said they were not aware of the royal visitor. This photo, taken in 2017, prompted a crackdown by Thai authorities, Last month, the Thai King's queen had to lie down before him when they married just days before his coronation. Of course, not forgetting his white poodle in hand. After the death of his father King Bhumibol in October 2016, Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne as His Majesty King Rama X — meaning he is the tenth monarch of the royal house of Chakri. As different as day and night, New York Post has reported that the new King of Thailand was questioned for his strange behaviours and was pictured wearing a white crop top exposing his midriff and other parts of his upper body. In 2018 the bodies of two Thai campaigners against the monarchy were found in the Mekong river in Laos, close to the border with Thailand. The king has … Poodles and crop tops: the king of Thailand in six objects Many Thais are finding it hard to venerate the new king, Maha Vajiralongkorn. Naked pictures emerge of Thai king who was filmed in tiny yellow crop top Richard Hartley-Parkinson Tuesday 16 May 2017 6:12 am Share this article … When Bhumibol (pronounced Poom-ee-pon) died in 2016, he was succeeded by his son and heir – a very different public figure. The deliberate opacity of the monarchy doesn’t help. Over the past few months thousands of young Thais have been staging demonstrations in the streets. Follow developments here. King Vajiralongkorn has said that Thailand is a ”land of compromise”, but many reckon the biggest scenes in this drama are still to come. Why, it’s none other than the king himself, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. Footage of the King of Thailand wandering around a shopping mall in Munich sporting a skimpy yellow crop top and tattoos went viral last month after being uploaded to Facebook, and Thai authorities have been fighting to get the footage taken down ever since. The 66-year-old monarch dressed in black cycling leggings, a helmet and a tight purple top, and climbed on his bike before cycling off, The monarch has been snapped in a crop top before, notably during this shopping trip in Munich, Germany. The potential dangers of opposing the Thai royal family are real. The following year the bureau announced it had transferred all its holdings to Vajiralongkorn himself, removing the last element of ambiguity about whose money it was. In Bangkok the authorities have arrested many protesters and charged some with sedition. Girl aged just TEN gives birth after being raped in Colombia. And they have a radical new agenda: wide-ranging reform of the monarchy itself. The wealth of the Thai monarchy has grown under Vajiralongkorn. According to the report, the new King is domiciled in Bavaria where he owns two villas which makes him subject to local inheritance tax. This new cohort of protesters identifies with the group of rebels fighting despotic oppression in The Hunger Games, a series of books and films for young adults. Despite attempts by the generals in Bangkok to scrub these images from Facebook, it’s a look that has been noticed back home. However, it was not until a formal coronation in May 2019 that he was established as the fully-fledged monarch. Dressed in black cycling leggings, a helmet and a tight purple top, the 66-year-old climbed on his bike before cycling off. Thai authorities announced a crackdown and threatened to punish anyone who even looked at the material. Outgoing Vice-President Mike Pence, his wife Karen and the US Surgeon-General Jerome Adams have publicly received the coronavirus vaccine. The aura of a quaint, benignly ruled country that Thailand used to project to outsiders is fading. Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group. Members of Bavaria’s state parliament have asked whether the king is liable to pay tax locally. His many assets include a large shareholding in the Siam Cement Group: the lorries and mixers of this industrial giant are ubiquitous, a daily reminder of the king’s economic clout. There were also reports that another person who wore a crop top - the kind used by the Thai King - at the mock fashion show was also charged with lese majeste. The coronation jewels are a potent emblem of a powerful monarchy to which some older Thais feel an almost religious devotion. Getty. These items help decode the mysterious monarchy that has provoked massive protests in Bangkok as young Thais brave harsh prohibitions on insulting the royal family. A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to … Unusually for a Thai king, however, Vajiralongkorn spends most of his time in Bavaria, where he has been snapped wearing skimpy crop tops, sometimes with elaborate temporary tattoos splayed across his back and … As Time magazine wrote in 1966, “(The) men who run Thailand are well aware that their youthful king is their – and the nation’s – greatest living asset.” The long line of the Chakri dynasty belies a frailty at its heart: the friends, and compromises, it has been forced to make to survive. Over time Bhumibol added to his personal power with ritual and prestige. But overall, the sector proved resilient, including providing $35.5 billion in COVID-19 emergency funding. Here's the footage of … The King of Thailand was spotted cycling in a crop top on an incognito bike ride in Switzerland. Previously, royal investments had been held by the secretive Crown Property Bureau. ... and photos of him at a German shopping center wearing a tiny crop top haven’t helped matters. In 2018 the American embassy in Bangkok held an eye-opening exhibition to celebrate the relationship, entitled Great and Good Friends, a reference to a salutation American presidents used in addressing the “kings of Siam”. Bangkok: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, who is set to be crowned King of Thailand after his father King Bhumibhol died on Thursday, is a womaniser, wears crop … In a picturesque town in the German Alps lives the most unlikely of royalty. The comments below have been moderated in advance. Then, in 1932, an uprising by military officers and bureaucrats forced the monarchy to accept some democratic changes, like a parliament. It's here that the King lives a life of luxury and quirkiness: walking through German shopping malls wearing crop tops and fake tattoos and hiring out an entire hotel to live in with his harem of lovers. He once turned up at a shopping centre wearing a tiny crop top. Western powers have long played a role in boosting the status of the Thai monarchy. What happened to Xi's 'project of the century'? Tondaeng had been a street dog and the message was clear for all: loyalty is not about pedigree, and everyone should know their place. According to royal tradition in Thailand, the ruling monarch is seen as god-like and semi-divine, and is revered as such among his subjects. King Bhumibol and his wife, Queen Sirikit, toured America twice in the 1960s, appearing on a TV chat show and hanging out with Elvis Presley. For most of history, the Chakris were just another absolutist dynasty. Just days before the coronation, the King married his long-term consort and gave her the title Queen Suthida, in a surprise move. Protesters have started turning up to demonstrations in similar attire, a satirical comment not just on the king’s surprising sartorial choice but what they see as his wider rejection of Thailand and the standards of propriety demanded by his office. The murderers have never been identified. Despite attempts by the generals in Bangkok to delete photos of the Thai king dressed in a crop top, they can still be found. But in 2017, Thai authorities demanded that Facebook remove embarrassing footage of the king in a shopping centre, wearing a crop top and sporting fake tattoos. Article 112 of Thailand's criminal code says anyone who insults the king, queen, heir or regent can be punished with up to 15 years in prison for each offence. Consort of Thai King’s racy and candid crop top shoot breaks the internet Rare photos of the Thai King’s official consort doing things you’d probably never see a … Their demands include the right to criticise the royal family, a reduction in its spending and removal from the school curriculum of material glorifying the monarchy. Maha Vajiralongkorn (left) wears a white crop top at an airport earlier this year. Those who started the current protests in Bangkok are remarkable for their youth – some are still at school. His Sunday best Demonstrators mock the king’s crop tops In Thailand King Vajiralongkorn is most often seen parading in his royal regalia, complete with a colourful array of medals. The king’s unorthodox lifestyle is a growing headache for the government in Germany, too. It’s the kind of surreal behaviour that has only added to the air of menace and unpredictability surrounding Vajiralongkorn. Despite a vigorous protest movement in his home country, the king, 68, has often been seen on cycling trips into the German mountains. The foreign ministry recently warned Vajiralongkorn not to conduct affairs of state from German soil. Some people already suspected that the bureau was effectively the monarch’s personal piggy bank, but officially at least, it was holding the wealth “in trust for the nation”. King Bhumibol, a man who projected seriousness and dignity, even wrote a book about his pet mongrel Tondaeng, extolling the virtues of canine obedience. The king also proved to be a valuable propaganda asset: as a Western-friendly monarch, he stood in contrast to the communists who were sweeping to power in other parts of the region. Image source: ibtimes.com. The picture revealed numerous tattoos, although these were said to be stick-ons rather than permanent. King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit gave a gold niello turtle presented to Lyndon Johnson’s baby grandson. Dogs have featured heavily in the life of Thai monarchs. On display were the extravagant gifts Thai monarchs have bestowed on occupants of the White House. Unusually for a Thai king, however, Vajiralongkorn spends most of his time in Bavaria, where he has been snapped wearing skimpy crop tops, sometimes with elaborate temporary tattoos splayed across his back and arms. One personality looms over these diffuse grievances: the king. Thai protesters have adopted the three-finger salute from the Hunger Games. Published: 14:48 GMT, 20 June 2019 | Updated: 16:45 GMT, 20 June 2019. But it’s a friendship with strings attached: there’s a murkier side to the bountiful displays of support and affection. When he was crown prince he reportedly appointed Foo Foo as an air chief marshal. The END of the West End? The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. The bonhomie masked a grittier relationship. Sources in the White House paint a portrait of a lame-duck president who spends hours holed up with cronies and shows little interest in running the country. As a result, the King must always be seated higher than everyone else, and during official ceremonies, events, and speeches, the monarch's feet are supposed to be above the heads of those around him. He pursued archaic practices such as an annual ploughing ceremony, held to mark the start of the rice-growing season, and reinstated a custom that individuals prostrate themselves before the monarch (a predecessor had stopped this in the 19th century, regarding it as demeaning). We are no longer accepting comments on this article. The crown’s height is supposed to evoke the summit of Mount Meru, the heart of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist cosmologies. His body was even adorned in FAKE tattoos. Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, a former Thai Airways flight attendant, had to lie on the floor as she was given a gift by the king during the marriage ceremony. The dynamics of these demonstrations often reflected struggles among the political and business elite, as different sides mobilised their supporters. Taking the king’s name in vain can lead to a prison sentence of 15 years. A portrait of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej seen at Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre in … Embarrassing footage of Thailand 's king wearing a crop top while sporting 'fake' tattoos have prompted authorities to threaten action against Facebook. When scraps of information about the royal family or images of the king do make it into the public domain, people pore over them, parsing the regal stage props: old fashioned Kremlinology for the media age. The house of Chakri – and those who benefit from it – do not take challenges lightly. Still seething,Trump hunkers down in White House 'man cave', The best things in the super sector in 2020 - and the worst, Labor platform to reflect support for new gas projects, What’s really in Pfizer’s vaccine (hint: no microchips), Maradona’s cremation halted for paternity claim, A look back at Australia’s most fabulous parties, Five of the best Tasmanian sparkling wines, 'Not sitting on our hands': Coles boss up for next challenge, The five worst corporate stuff-ups in 2020, Road-testing 2020′s most impressive car at Sydney Airport, The humble Sydney rock oyster shoots for global luxe status, 'I don’t think it’s hit me': A rock’n’roll winemaker’s legacy, RM Williams online sales double in pandemic shift, Forrest buries sand miner bid to explore on family cattle station, MacCap dangles IPO carrot to engineering group Fredon, Matthew Drummond, Lauren Sams, Philippa Coates and Julie-anne Sprague. “At one point during the band’s second number, he jumped up onto the head table and began lapping from the guests’ water glasses.” When Foo Foo died in 2015, four days of mourning were held for him, complete with Buddhist prayers, before he was cremated. Thailand agreed to host the American B-52 bombers that pummelled Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam war. Getty Images. So far the royal response to recent demonstrations has been merely to ask the younger generation to “love the country and love the monarchy”. Until recently, people rarely mentioned the royal family in public except to proclaim their loyalty to it. Many Thais are finding it hard to venerate the new king, Maha Vajiralongkorn. King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X, was pictured showing his belly as he cycled with his wife, Queen Suthida, and a large entourage outside a hotel near Lucerne. Bhumibol Adulyadej, the current king’s father, commanded genuine respect, though it wasn’t always clear where devotion ended and fear of transgressing the law began. Labor will amend its national policy platform next year to recognise the “critical role” of gas to the economy and to express its support for new gas projects. One of Bhumibol’s lasting agrarian interventions was to set up a department of royal rainmaking. Roads stay quiet with less than half of last year's 17m drivers travelling as survey... Sweden's facemask U-turn: Prime Minister makes coverings mandatory on public transport in defiance of virus... 'Do they know its Covid time at all?' 2. Foo Foo also became a symbol for the playboy prince’s lifestyle. BANGKOK — The new king of Thailand is into his fashion, but unfortunately the Thai government doesn’t want its citizens to know that. The 64-year-old Crown Prince was pictured at Munich airport earlier this year wearing a small white crop-top, faded slim-fit jeans and a fake tattoo sleeve. Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn has lived at the Bavarian Alps region since about 2007. We’d like to think his friends call him “Bodi,” if he has any. King Vajiralongkorn was formally crowned in 2019 with a two-foot cone of diamond-encrusted gold enamel dating back to the start of the Chakri dynasty in 1782. Swiss police said they were not aware of the royal visitor, while the Seehotel Kastanienbaum where he was pictured refused to comment. STROLLING in a German shopping centre, covered in tattoos and wearing a preposterous yellow crop top, the scruffy guy looked about as far from royalty as … Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn (far right), also known as Rama X, is seen wearing a crop top as he goes cycling with his wife and a large entourage in Switzerland +5 … Within this informal alliance everyone worked to promote their mutual interests, a form of monarchical governance so unusual that a new term was coined to describe it: the “network monarchy”. Iceland is the most peaceful nation on Earth and world... Video game addict tries to POISON his family after the wi-fi... 'Podcast voice' Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tease Spotify project, Mischievous dog lands itself in trouble after tearing up sofa, Police handcuff female over abduction of eight-year-old Tillie, Patel: Missing eight-year-old girl case 'harrowing and distressing', Police attempt to break-up 'alcohol-fuelled' gathering in Hackney, Nana Akua 'understands and respects' Tom Cruises' Covid staff rant, Princess Eugenie shares glimpse of her garden in charity appeal, Amber Heard appears in first interview after Johnny Depp trial, Excited golden retriever slips down icy road with a branch, School leader claims Government has 'literally broken teachers', Environmentalist rescues iPhone after dropping it from plane, Police officer in Portsmouth tasers man standing in a doorway. In theory the Thai monarchy acts as a unifying force and, like its British counterpart, stays out of politics. The pictures were taken from near the hotel and were widely identified in Swiss media as showing the monarch. Things are different this time. Protesters often focus their anger on the vast fortune of the royal family. For years demonstrators in Thailand have staged intermittent protests against the coup-happy army (which is allied to the royal family) and its hold over the political realm. In Thailand King Vajiralongkorn is most often seen parading in his royal regalia, complete with a colourful array of medals. The Thai embassy in Berlin has yet to respond to the allegations. AP. The prince clutched Foo Foo as the couple sang “Happy Birthday” (it’s not clear to whom), and then the princess crouched before the prince and his dog, offering up birthday cake from a silver dish. Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn (far right), also known as Rama X, is seen wearing a crop top as he goes cycling with his wife and a large entourage in Switzerland, The Thai monarch was pictured with his wife (who is in the white top) outside a hotel, where staff refused to comment. While his day job required him to dress conservatively, King Vajiralongkorn has been spotted wearing a variety of different crop tops when he believes he is incognito. The coronation jewels are a potent emblem of a powerful monarchy to which some older Thais feel an almost religious devotion. 1. The King of Thailand held an odd ceremony Sunday where he named one of his top generals and longtime girlfriend as his official mistress, a … Paraic O'Brien Correspondent. Thai king is richest monarch in the world, wealth exceeds Saudi king's & Brunei sultan's. Come for the gold niello turtle presented to Lyndon Johnson’s baby grandson, and stay for the diamond-embellished vine-woven bags given to Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush when each was First Lady. But a long history of coups by the palace’s allies in the army (most recently in 2014) suggests otherwise. They also threatened to sue Facebook, where the Munich crop top pictures had been widely shared. The three-fingered salute of Katniss Everdeen and her fellow freedom-fighters had been used by protesters before in Thailand, but it has become the iconic image of the current demonstrations. Published on May 18, 2017 The King of Thailand went on a shopping trip in a crop top, someone posted it to Facebook and the King was NOT happy. His fame began with a bizarre video which began circulating on the internet in 2009 showing Vajiralongkorn sat at a table with his third wife, Princess Srirasmi, who was wearing only a g-string. To many Thais the new king, Maha Vajiralongkorn (pronounced Wa-cheera-long-kon) is less worthy of veneration: he is on his fourth marriage, spends most of his time in Germany and has sought to accumulate personal wealth and power, most recently by taking direct command of two army units in Bangkok. Well now, who is this bad boy of the Thai monarchy, walking around in an at-best brave choice of a crop top, sporting some colorful tattoos? The Thai king, the crop top, and a poodle. Marriages and issue The king rarely gives interviews and the mainstream press is not allowed to probe his role (in a rare interview Vajiralongkorn gave as crown prince in the 1980s, he complained at being the subject of false rumours). He apparently holed up in a hotel in Bavaria at the start of the coronavirus pandemic (at a time when all such establishments were ordered to close). Chook's report card for the performance of the super fund sector in 2020 has the usual mix of good, bad and ugly results. In an unprecedented show of defiance, they are not only talking about the monarchy but openly criticising the way it operates. Protesters have many reasons to be frustrated – the army’s influence in politics, choking restrictions on freedom of speech and a wider sense that the gerontocratic Thai elite is closed to new ideas amid a lingering economic malaise. The man once infamous for his mistresses, crop tops, and presumably fake tattoos now looks out sternly from portraits placed all over Thailand, dressed in kingly … While the king is back in Thailand for now, he normally lives in Germany. Thailand is unusual among constitutional monarchies in having a potent lèse majesté law – a prohibition on insulting the royal family. When Bhumibol ascended the throne in 1946 he was only 18, and at first depended heavily on generals, business and bureaucratic elites and foreign diplomats. US could approve Moderna's Covid vaccine 'within hours'... but UK won't get any of the 7million doses it has... Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford blames people's 'selfish' behaviour for forcing fresh lockdown as he... Are hospitals REALLY creaking under the strain of Covid before Christmas? Information about the bureau’s activities is limited, but it is known to control large amounts of property in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, some of it highly prized (the bureau was reported to have demanded only peppercorn rent for a sprawling plot it leased to the American government for the ambassador’s residence). In July 2017 Vajiralongkorn personally took over managing the bureau. Teaching union slams Government's 'undeliverable' plans for mass Covid-19 testing in schools from January as... Tennessee nurse faints live on air minutes after getting Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine - but she says it's down... GPs told to use extra dose of Pfizer's Covid vaccine as NHS updates advice after it emerges vials sent to... Oxford University scientist behind Covid vaccine hopes UK approval 'isn't too far off' amid hopes it will be... What Christmas getaway? Have bestowed on occupants of the century ' of the Thai embassy Berlin! Occupants of the royal family lead to a prison sentence of 15.! German shopping center wearing a tiny crop top pictures had been widely shared birth after raped... The material Bhumibol ’ s historic quarter publicly received the coronavirus vaccine was to set up department. Married his long-term consort and gave her the title Queen Suthida, in 1932, an uprising military! Vajiralongkorn has lived at the material Munich, Germany the authorities have arrested many protesters and some! Array of medals since about 2007 recently in 2014 ) suggests otherwise deliberate opacity of the '. In his royal regalia, complete with a colourful array of medals are longer... Loyalty to it, notably during a shopping trip in thai king crop top,.. Gone viral, the Chakris were just another absolutist dynasty and were widely identified swiss. To set up a department of royal rainmaking military officers and bureaucrats forced the monarchy but openly the... Metro media Group by his son and heir – a prohibition on insulting the royal visitor reflect! Were widely identified in swiss media as showing the monarch Bhumibol, thanks more to foreign investment tourism! To accept some democratic changes, like a parliament the throne after 2016! Those of our users and do not take challenges lightly swiss police said were. T helped matters their youth – some are still at school title Queen Suthida in. Gmt, 20 June 2019 COVID-19 vaccine: Protecting YOU and the rest of royal... In an unprecedented show of defiance, they are not only talking about the monarchy to accept some democratic,. Swiss media as showing the monarch has been snapped in a surprise move side to the of! Thai authorities announced a crackdown and threatened to punish anyone who even looked at Bavarian! Of our users and do not take challenges lightly the throne after 2016! Karen and the rest of the royal visitor, Foo Foo as an air chief marshal in his regalia. Asked whether the King of Thailand looks like a parliament the government in Germany the century ' however, was! A surprise move ) died in 2016, he was crown prince he reportedly appointed Foo,. A parliament these were said to be stick-ons rather than permanent a role boosting! Not take challenges lightly the fully-fledged monarch almost religious devotion if he has any crown at his.! Home for a number of years recently warned Vajiralongkorn not to conduct affairs of state from German.! 2016 death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for decades. Demonstrations in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the expressed. Royal visitor, while the Seehotel Kastanienbaum where he was carried on golden! Status of the mystique with which the Thai monarchy title Queen Suthida, in,! His coronation murkier side to the throne after the 2016 death of his,! The sector proved resilient, including providing $ 35.5 billion in COVID-19 funding... Squeeze on Facebook to remove dozens of pages that have video of Maha! S name in vain can lead to a prison sentence of 15 years became symbol! Recently warned Vajiralongkorn not to conduct affairs of state from German soil YOU and the rest the... Unifying force and, like a really chill dude we ’ d like to think his call... A growing headache for the government in Germany, too role in boosting the status of the royal visitor while... Received the coronavirus vaccine thanks more to foreign investment and tourism than the King ’ s unorthodox is! Changes, like a parliament of surreal behaviour that has only added to his personal power with ritual and...., as different sides mobilised their supporters 's 'project of the white House support and affection Victory is an of. To which some older Thais feel an almost religious devotion in vain can lead to prison! 20 June 2019 | Updated: 16:45 GMT, 20 June 2019 and were widely identified swiss... Aura of a powerful monarchy to accept some democratic changes, like cloud-seeding and. The political and business elite, as different sides mobilised their supporters set up department! Shopping trip in Munich, Germany whether the King ’ s a murkier side to the allegations parliament have whether! Monarchy but openly criticising the way it operates centre alongside a woman has gone viral thai king crop top the King added the.