New Queen of Thailand

On 1 May 2019, in the fourth year of his reign, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, married Gen Suthida Vajiralongkorn, His Majesty’s royal consort, making her officially the new Queen of Thailand ahead of his coronation ceremony. The marriage has been announced in the Royal Gazette.

According to Matichon, King Vajiralongkorn was at Dusit Palace along with Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, His Majesty’s sister, and Gen Suthida Vajiralongkorn, for the marriage ceremony at 16.32. His Majesty’s Guard read the royal announcement of the marriage.

Queen Suthida gave an offering of flowers, candles, and incense to King Vajiralongkorn. The King anointed her with blessed water, and gave her regalia, His Majesty’s Royal Cypher Medal (First Class), and the royal announcement of their marriage.

The Director of Dusit District gave King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida the royal marriage registration for their signatures. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, also signed as witnesses. Gen Anupong Paochinda, the Minister of Interior, gave King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida the complete royal registration.  

According to Thai Rath, Queen Suthida graduated from the Faculty of Journalism, Assumption University, in 2000, and became a flight attendant for Thai Airways. On the Royal Gazette website, there have been around 20 announcements by the Royal Palace and the Government House regarding Suthida.

According to BBC Thai, Suthida was given a second-class royal decoration for serving the King in July and promoted to Lieutenant General in charge of the King's Bodyguard in November 2013. She became Chief of Staff of the King’s Guard Unit in 2014 and promoted to Gen. and Deputy Commander of the King’s Guard in 2017.

What does this mean for the Thai people? According to Thai law, the new Queen is now under the protection of Article 112 of the Criminal Code, making her immune from criticism. Defamation against her means 3 to 15 years in jail.

From 1 May onward, Thai citizens will also no longer be able to give their children a name which resembles Her Majesty’s name ‘Suthida’, both in terms of spelling and pronunciation, according to Article 6 of the 1961 Person Name Act.

Queen Suthida is the fourth marriage registration of King Vajiralongkorn.