/Thai king strips consort of titles for disloyalty

Thai king strips consort of titles for disloyalty

Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, pictured here piloting a fighter jet, was appointed the king's royal consort in JulyImage copyright

Image caption

Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, pictured here piloting a fighter jet, was appointed the king’s royal consort in July

Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn has stripped his royal consort of her rank and titles over “misbehaviour and disloyalty against the monarch”.

She was appointed in July, just two months after the king’s marriage to Queen Suthida, his fourth wife.

An official announcement said Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi was “ambitious” and had tried to “elevate herself to the same state as the queen”.

“The royal consort’s behaviours were considered disrespectful,” it said.

Sineenat, who was a major-general and is a trained pilot, nurse and bodyguard, was the first person to be awarded the title of Royal Noble Consort in nearly a century.

Queen Suthida – a 41-year-old former flight attendant and deputy head of his bodyguard unit – is King Vajiralongkorn’s long-term partner and has been seen with him in public for many years.

The announcement of Sineenat being stripped of her titles was published in the royal gazette on Monday.

It said she had “shown resistance and pressure in every manner to stop the appointment of the Queen” ahead of the coronation in May.

Image copyright

Image caption

King Vajiralongkorn and his consort pose at the Grand Palace in Bangkok

Image copyright

Image caption

Sineenat had held the military rank of major general

“The king gave her a royal consort position, in hopes of relieving the pressure and a problem that could affect the monarchy,” the announcement said.

But it added that Sineenat had show “resistance against the king and the queen” and abused her power to give orders on the king’s behalf.

The king, the statement said, had learnt “she neither was grateful to the title bestowed upon her, nor did she behave appropriately according to her status.”

He ordered her stripped of all royal titles, decorations, status in the royal guard, and her military ranks.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe king is seen pouring sacred water on the head of Queen Suthida when they were married in May

King Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne after the death of his father in 2016.

He has had four wives – Princess Soamsawali from 1977 to 1993; Yuvadhida Polpraserth from 1994 to 1996; Srirasmi Suwadee between 2001 and 2014; and Queen Suthida.