B1 Intermediate US 78 Folder Collection
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Unlike the British royal family,
not much is known about Thailand's monarchs,
thanks to strict laws restricting reporting on
the Thai royals.
However, King Rama X isn't a complete mystery.
From marrying his bodyguard
to flying his own plane
and throwing a four-day funeral for his pet poodle,
here's everything we know about Thailand's eccentric ruler.
King Rama X was born on July 28, 1952.
His full name means "adorned with jewels or thunderbolts."
He was educated first at a palace school in Bangkok,
then prep and boarding schools in the United Kingdom,
before completing his overseas education
at the Royal Military College at Duntroon
in Canberra, Australia.
After graduating, the prince joined the Thai army.
He underwent advanced military training
not only in Thailand,
but also the UK, US, and Australia,
becoming an officer and qualified pilot
for both civilian and military aircrafts.
According to the BBC, the king still flies
his own Boeing 737 when he travels overseas.
Despite his military training, there were questions
of whether the prince was fit to rule.
Rumors of gambling, womanizing,
and associating with illegal businesses reportedly plagued
the prince's reputation.
In 1977, he married his first cousin,
but then got involved with a young actress
with whom he had five children
before the two married in 1994.
But just two years later, he publicly denounced her
and disowned his four sons.
In 2001, he married his third wife,
a lady-in-waiting,
but took away her royal title in 2014
and arrested nine of her relatives, including her parents,
on charges that they'd abused their connection to him.
After his father passed away in October 2016,
the prince ascended Thailand's throne
and became King Rama X,
the 10th monarch of his royal house.
In order to allow time for Thailand to mourn his father,
he waited three years for his coronation.
And three days before the highly anticipated
and lavish affair in May 2019,
the king married his fourth wife.
The palace had never acknowledged
the king's longtime romantic relationship
with the woman who helped command his bodyguards before.
But now, she was his queen.
The queen joined the king for his coronation festivities.
The procession, which involved 1,300 people
and elephants, took six and a half hours
and reportedly cost the government $31 million.
The South China Morning Post reported that
the king wore a 15-pound crown
and was carried on a palanquin by 16 people,
who changed every 500 meters.
Just two months later,
he made his rumored longtime girlfriend,
a major general, his royal noble consort.
The televised ceremony took place on
the king's 67th birthday,
with the queen at his side.
When the Thai royal palace later published a photo
of the king's consort wearing a crop top
and piloting a plane, its official website crashed.
According to The Times, King Rama X
is Thailand's first modern monarch
to openly have more than one partner.
However, in October 2019, the king stripped
his royal noble consort of her title, citing disloyalty.
According to the royal palace's official statement,
she was "ambitious," her behavior was "disrespectful,"
and she tried to "elevate herself
to the same state as the queen."
The statement also said that the king's consort
had attempted to prevent the queen's coronation.
The king stripped his former consort
of all royal titles and decorations,
as well as status in the royal guard
and military ranks.
Although Thailand is a constitutional monarchy,
the king wields much power.
He commands an estimated 5,000 troops
in the royal guard
and has much influence over the wealthy
Crown Property Bureau, which provides the palace
with an annual income of about $300 million.
Not to mention, as king, he can pretty much
do whatever he wants.
Including naming his pet poodle Foo Foo
an air chief marshal.
When Foo Foo died, the king gave him
a four-day-long Buddhist funeral.
Despite his responsibilities in Thailand,
he reportedly spends a large amount of his time
at his home in the German state of Bavaria.
An avid cyclist, the king has led a number
of biking events in Bangkok,
but if you see him out,
think twice before snapping a picture.
When a photo of the king was posted on Facebook
showing him wearing a crop top,
he threatened to sue Facebook,
saying the images were insulting.
Thailand's lèse-majesté law subjects anyone
who "defames, insults or threatens the king
the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent"
to a jail term of three to 15 years.
The same law allowed the king to imprison
his third wife's parents for two and a half years
on charges of "royal defamation"
and also imprison a Thai man for 35 years in 2017
for insulting the monarchy on Facebook.
At least two people arrested on royal defamation charges
have been found dead under mysterious circumstances.
The United Nations' rights body has issued
a warning that Thailand's use of lèse-majesté
might "constitute crimes against humanity."
The legislation has been in effect since Thailand's
first criminal code was created in 1908.
And the military-backed government
says the law is needed to protect the monarchy.
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Everything We Know About King Rama X Of Thailand

78 Folder Collection
Helena published on December 18, 2019
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