Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn announces consort queen before coronation

King Maha Vajiralongkorn
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn arrives for the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony in central Bangkok, Thailand.

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn announced on Wednesday that he had married his consort, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn, and named her Queen Suthida.

The announcement, carried in the Royal Gazette, came just before the official coronation of the king on May 4-6.

Vajiralongkorn, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016, after 70 years on the throne.

In 2014, Vajiralongkorn appointed Suthida Tidjai, a former flight attendant for Thai Airways, as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit.

Some royal observers and foreign media have linked Suthida romantically with the king, but the palace had previously never acknowledged a relationship between them.

The king made Suthida a full general in December 2016, and the deputy commander of the king’s personal guard in 2017. He also made her a Thanpuying, a royal title meaning Lady.

While the king took the throne after the death of his father, his formal coronation follows a mourning period for King Bhumibol, whose royal cremation was held a year after his death.

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