Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn ordered the release of more than 60 photographs and a 46-page biography of his 34-year-old Noble Consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, the first woman to receive the noble rank in nearly a century.
In a nod to the times we live in, Thailand‘s royal palace has released candid photographs of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s lover, offering a rare and intimate window into the lifestyles of the notoriously private Thai royals.
Vajiralongkorn bestowed the rank of “Chao Khun Phra” (noble consort) on 34-year-old former army nurse Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, also known as Sineenat Bilaskalayani, on his 67th birthday in July. She is the first woman to receive the noble rank in Thailand in nearly a century.
The publication of the more than 60 photos and a 46-page biography was dated last week, but did not start circulating online until Monday (local time) and the interest crashed the royal palace website.
“The king has ordered the creation of a royal biography for Chao Khun Phra Sineenat Bilaskalayani,” a statement from the Royal Office said, using her full title.
The images and details provide an unusually intimate glimpse into the private lives of the powerful, ultra-wealthy and inscrutable monarchy, which is protected by a royal insult law that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison per count. King Vajiralongkorn’s wealth is estimated to be more than US$30 billion.
The undated, action-packed photos show the former army nurse, who served in the King’s royal bodyguard unit, in a range of settings. In one photograph, she is wearing a parachute and standing inside a military plane, then petting a poodle in military uniform, and aiming a weapon in a firing range, while other images depict her in more traditional photos for a royal noble consort, such as being dressed in Thai formal attire sitting next to and holding the hand of the king.
The images and details provide an unusually intimate glimpse into the private lives of the powerful, ultra-wealthy and inscrutable monarchy, which is protected by a royal insult law that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Born in the northern Thai province of Nan, Wongvajirapakdi graduated from the Royal Thai Army Nursing College, trained as a pilot in Thailand and abroad, and served in the king’s royal bodyguard unit, reaching the rank of major-general in May.
A cycling and aviation enthusiast who spends much of his time abroad in Germany, Vajiralongkorn was crowned in May in an elaborate three-day ceremony that Wongvajirapakdi participated in.
The ceremony took place after it was announced that Vajiralongkorn had married Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, a former flight attendant and deputy commander of the monarch’s security detail. Suthida is the fourth wife of the monarch.