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King Maha Vajiralongkorn

THE NEW KING OF THAILAND

To His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, We Thaiways tourist magazine humbly present our most respectful congratulations and best wishes on His Majesty's accession to the throne.

On this auspicious occasion of His Majesty's accession to the throne, We, the management and staff of Thaiways magazine, join our advertisers and the whole nation in humbly expressing our deepest love and respect for His Majesty, and wishing His Majesty a good health and long life.

On this auspicious occasion, we are pleased to publish a brief biography of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn (King Rama X) below, especially to acquaint our foreign tourist readers with the life story of His Majesty and some of the royal duties he has performed.

From Prince to Crown Prince

Originally titled Prince Vajiralongkorn, His Majesty is the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, born on 28 July 1952 at Ambara Villa, Dusit Palace. King Bhumibol created him Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the Royal Son and Crown Prince of Siam on 28 December 1972, thus making him the Heir Apparent to the throne. He is also the first Crown Prince after Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.

Marriage and Family

His Majesty was married to Mom Luang Soamsawali Kittiyakorn (now retitled Princess Soamsawali, the Princess Mother of the King's First Grandchild) on 3 January 1977. They divorced in 1993 after having one daughter. Then His Majesty was married again on 10 February 2001 to Miss Srirasmi Suwadee. They were divorced in December 2014.

His Majesty has a Royal Daughter born of Princess Soamsawali, named Princess Bajrakitiyabha (born 7 December 1978), and a Royal Son born of Princess Srirasmi the Royal Consort, named Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti (born 29 April 2005).


Educational Background

After finishing his primary school course from Chitlada School Bangkok, His Majesty went to continue his study at King's Mead School in Sussex and Millfield School in Somerset, England.

As His Majesty had a keen interest in the study of military science and HM the late King Bhumibol found that in the teaching and study of military science, Australia used a broader course of study and a stricter method of training, His Majesty was sent to Australia in August 1970. His Majesty studied first at the King's School in Sydney, which is a preparatory military institution. Then he went to the Royal Military College Duntroon in Canberra. There he studied with the other cadets from the first term in the academic year 1972 and graduated in the academic year 1975.

After returning to Thailand, His Majesty entered the military service and continued his study at the Army Staff College with class 46 in 1977. Then he was ordained for a season as a Buddhist monk in 1978, according to the tradition of Thai Buddhist males. After leaving the monkhood, His Majesty went to study law at Sukhothai Thammathirat University and graduated in 1982. He also studied at the National Defence College in England in 1990.

Military Career

9 December 1975
His Majesty began serving as a staff officer in the Directorate of Army Intelligence, Ministry of Defence.

6 October 1978
His Majesty became a vice battalion commander of the First Infantry Regiment of the Palace Guards.

28 November 1980
His Majesty became a battalion commander of the Royal Guards.

13 February 1984
His Majesty became regiment commander of the Royal Guards.

30 July 1988
His Majesty became commander of the Royal Guards Command.

9 January 1992
His Majesty became commander of the King's Safety Unit in the Supreme Commander's Office

4 May 1994
His Majesty served as a flying instructor of F-SE/F fighters

Military Rank

His Majesty holds the ranks of General in the Royal Thai Army, Admiral in the Royal Thai Navy and Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Thai Air Force.

Flight Training

His Majesty underwent training in high-class tactics of fighters with the 425th Air Wing at William Air-Base, Arizona, in the United States in 1980, 1983 and 1991 and is highly skilled in flying several models of fighters, such as F-5, F-16 and helicopters. He has also filled the role of flying instructor and given lessons to pilots of the Royal Thai Air Force.

Work in National Security

When there were unfortunate happenings threatening the public peace and national security of the country, His Majesty actually took up his military duty by joining the combats against the insurgents and terrorists causing troubles in the northern and northeastern regions of Thailand. He also took part in campaigns to defend the area around the Cambodian refugee camp at Khao Lan in the Southeastern Province of Trat.

Duties Regarding Buddhism

Regarding work in respect of Buddhism His Majesty has regularly performed such royal duties on behalf of the Late King, for example, the traditional ceremonies of changing clothes seasonally for the Emerald Buddha (popularly known as Wat Phra Kaeo), the merit making ceremonies on important Buddhist festivals, such as Visakha Puja Day, Asalha Puja Day, the first day of Buddhist Lent, and the Royal Kathin ceremonies at principal temples and so on.

Work to Promote Education

His Majesty is firm in his resolution to promote the education of young Thais, especially those in backward areas far away from prosperity who lack opportunity to go to school. So he donated money from his private purse to support the Department of General Education, the Ministry of Education, to build six secondary schools in poor and remote areas. His Majesty went to the construction sites to preside over the cornerstone-laying ceremonies himself, accepted all these schools under his royal patronage and donated up-to-date teaching facilities, including computer, television sets and videos, for use at the schools.



Out of his compassion and concern for children of needy families who may be deprived of their education opportunities, His Majesty set up the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkor's Scholarship Foundation in 2009, to offer scholarships for Thai students with financial hardship but who have exceptional academic performance and good conduct. Qualifying students will be granted scholarships for study in high school, undergraduate university education to earn a Bachelor's Degree or the equivalent, and through to the highest level of post- graduate study. Two such scholarships, one for a male and the other for a female, are granted to each province of the whole country every year. Since its founding in 2009, the foundation has awarded up to 920 scholarship recipients. Scholarship awards range from 18,000 - 22,000 baht per year per person.

Bike for Mom Event

The "Bike for Mom" mass bicycle ride was organized on 16 August 2015 as part of the celebrations for HM Queen Sirikit's 83rd birthday on August 12.

August 16, 2015, at 1500 hrs, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, together with his daughter, HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha, presided over the opening and closing ceremony of "Bike for Mom", a biking event in honor of Her Majesty the Queen on the auspicious occasion of her 83rd birthday anniversary.

The event was held with the royal intention of His Majesty to express gratitude and reverence toward Her Majesty the Queen, "Mother of the Country", as well as to promote unity and good health among the Thai people of all sectors. Privy councilors, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, cabinet members and spouses, organizing committee, representatives of public and private organizations, as well as general public, had an audience at Dusit Palace Plaza on the occasion.

The main "Bike for Mom" event was held in Bangkok where a number of streets were closed to traffic with an estimated 40,000 cyclists taking part in the cycle ride in the Thai capital. Starting at 3 p.m. from the Royal Plaza in front of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, the ride was preceded by a formal ceremony at the Equestrian Statue of King Rama V. From there, the 43 km route took riders past a number of prominent Bangkok landmarks before finishing at the starting point, the Royal Plaza. Although the main event was held in the Thai capital, every province in Thailand also held a 'Bike for Mom' rally on the same day.

Bike for Dad Event

The "Bike for Dad" was held to celebrate the 88th birthday anniversary of the late His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 5 December 2015. The event occurred after Thailand was successful in launching "Bike for Mom 2015," as part of the celebrations for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's 83rd birthday anniversary in August 2015. It was a historic moment and became the biggest cycling event ever held in Thailand.

The mass bicycle ride was in response to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn's wishes to encourage Thai people from all walks of life to express their gratitude and loyalty to the late His Majesty King Bhumibol on this special occasion. The event was also meant to show the unity of Thai people.

It was held simultaneously in all provinces nationwide on 11 December 2015, from 3:00 p.m. onwards. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn led the Bike for Dad event in Bangkok. The ride began at the Royal Plaza and passed through several major areas, such as Ratchaprasong, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok's Chinatown, or Yaowarat, Wong Wian Yai, and the Democracy Monument. Then it returned to the Royal Plaza, for a total length of 29 kilometers.



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