08 May 2019

Coronation Jewels in Thailand

MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images

A weekend-long series of coronation festivities were held recently in Bangkok for King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand and his new consort, Queen Suthida. Here's a brief look at a few of the jewels worn for the various ceremonies.




Public Relations Department of Thailand via Getty Images

On Friday, the King (who is also known at King Rama X) wore the magnificent Great Crown of Victory, one of the most important pieces of royal regalia in Thailand. The golden diadem is decorated with colorful enamel and studded with diamonds. The massive crown weighs sixteen pounds, and it is only worn by the monarch once, when he puts it on during his coronation.


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After the complicated coronation rituals were completed, the King held a general audience in the throne room for prominent officials and members of the royal family.


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At the end of this audience comes the traditional installation of the queen. The King's new wife, Queen Suthida, was anointed by her husband and presented with new chivalric insignia. In the image above, the King places the sash of the Order of the Nine Gems on the Queen. (During the festivities, the King's first wife, Princess Soamsawali, also received the same order; his sisters, Princess Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn, had previously received it.)


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Here's a look at the members of the royal family who gathered during the coronation audience. From the left, we've got Prince Dipangkorn, who is currently his father's heir. (Dipangkorn is the son of the King's third wife, the former Princess Srirasmi. The King's four older sons, who were all born during his second marriage, were disowned in 1996.) Next is Princess Sirivannavari, the only daughter from his second marriage. Beside her is Princess Bajrakitiyabha, the only child from the King's marriage to his first wife, Princess Soamsawali. Next is Princess Ubolratana, the king's elder sister, who recently made headlines when she attempted to run for Prime Minister. (Her candidacy was later withdrawn.) The king's younger sister, the popular Princess Sirindhorn, is next, followed by Queen Suthida.


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More coronation festivities followed on Saturday and Sunday, culminating in a grand public audience on the balcony of the Suddhaisavarya Prasad Hall of the Grand Palace.


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Queen Suthida wore gorgeous girandole earrings for the public audience, as well as the distinctive yellow sash and golden collar of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri.


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The King and Queen were joined on the balcony by three of the King's children: Princess Bajrakitiyabha, Princess Sirivannavari, and Prince Dipangkorn.


JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

You'll note here that the king's children also received an order upgrade during the weekend. On Friday, the princesses wore the pale pink sash of the Order of Chula Chom Klao, but on Saturday, all three of them received the Order of the Royal House of Chakri. They wore their new insignia on the balcony on Sunday.