“I thought that Vajiralongkorn would be so lacking in moral authority that he wouldn’t get the support of the various sectors of society that he needs. The crown prince is seen to lack the public popularity that gave his father's rule legitimacy, raising fears of a power struggle in the south-east Asian country. Jorge Silva/Reuters. Naked pictures emerge of Thai king who was filmed in tiny yellow crop top. But in 2017, Thai authorities demanded that Facebook remove embarrassing footage of the king in a shopping centre, wearing a crop top and sporting fake tattoos. The world knows Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn as a playboy who has churned through four wives, lives among lots of women in a German hotel and relishes skimpy crop tops … In one of them, for example, he eliminated a requirement that when the king is out of the country, which Vajiralongkorn is most of the time, his authority would revert to a regent. When Sineenat was installed for her brief reign as noble royal consort, official photographs of the ceremony showed her lying on the floor, making hand gestures of fealty, while Vajiralongkorn sat imperiously on a gilded throne above her. People of Thailand, meet your new king. Maha Vajiralongkorn (left) wears a white crop top at an airport earlier this year. This has included closing areas that were once open to the public, including the Bangkok Zoo and one of Bangkok’s two horse-racing tracks. In a country where polygamy has been banned for 100 years, the king seemed to be saying that a kind of polygamy would be a prerogative of the monarch (and nobody else). But, as Rungsila and people like him acknowledge, Thailand’s turn to authoritarianism has also been welcomed and supported by many people who experienced the intermittent turbulence and violence of the years before the 2014 coup, and who give credit to the military and the monarchy for the return of domestic “peace and order,” as the propaganda put it at the time. From fake tattoos and crop tops to making a poodle Air Force chief – the King of Thailand’s maddest moments revealed . The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. And so, following the election, the former army chief who led the 2014 coup, Prayuth Chan-ocha, became the country’s prime minister. Previously regarded as the playboy son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Vajiralongkorn was once spotted roaming the streets of Munich, sporting a crop top and tattoos (believed to be fake). STROLLING in a German shopping centre, covered in tattoos and wearing a preposterous yellow crop top, the scruffy guy looked about as far from … Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkor will take the throne following the death of his father – but who is he and why are some people so unhappy about it? Maha Vajiralongkorn has also been photographed cycling in a crop top in Switzerland and Germany, has a reputation as a womanizer, and reportedly gave his dog a four-day funeral. He rushed home from Germany – where he spends much of his time, reportedly with a former Thai Airways air hostess who he is planning to marry – when his father’s health deteriorated and has since requested to delay taking to the throne so, he says, he has more time to mourn. The Crown Prince is known to be friends with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the businessman and former owner of Manchester City, who was ousted as the Thai premier in 2006. Prince Maha ended his relationship with his third wife, Princess Srirasm, in December. Video of the king was reportedly shot at a mall in Munich last year in July, and has been widely shared on the social … Among the photos of Major-General Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, the Thai King’s consort, are images of her wearing a camouflage-printed sports bra. Vajiralongkorn’s assertion of his power comes at a time when Thailand has been moving in an authoritarian direction, the government largely controlled by the military, which, after years of sometimes violent political turmoil, took power in a coup in 2014. Just three months later, as if to show the dangers of incurring the king’s disfavor, Sineenat was accused of ingratitude and misbehavior and stripped of her rank and titles. But in new elections in 2011, the pro-Thaksin party won again in a landslide, and Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, became prime minister. While his day job required him to dress conservatively, King Vajiralongkorn … “When he came to the throne, he looked at the past ... and he said, ‘Why should I let any of that go?’”. He was eating ice cream while wearing very un-monarchical jeans and a crop top, his bare midriff displaying what seemed to be elaborate temporary tattoos. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, the long-serving prime minister, Hun Sen, has jailed his main political opponents and banned the only political party that had a chance to defeat him in elections two years ago. Vajiralongkorn is still a bit of an absentee monarch, living mostly in Europe. “Actually, the 2014 coup was a way for the military to assure Vajiralongkorn’s succession at a time when his father was sick and Thaksin was becoming more popular than the king,” Pavin said. … Since taking the throne in late 2016, Vajiralongkorn has rapidly amassed power. Thai protestors chant slogans outside the king's daughter's boutique against the insult laws passed by the palace. A glimpse into the old race track revealed a bunch of construction sheds. Some of Thailand’s highest profile protest leaders dressed in crop tops and paraded at a central Bangkok shopping centre on Sunday in a jibe against King Maha Vajiralongkorn to … Please consider making a contribution to Vox today, from as little as $3. The unpredictable King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is suffering mass protests in Bankok, has now been accused of breaking his sister’s ankles. Crop tops, tattoos and marrying his bodyguard - new Thai king's coronation sets the seal on years of eccentricity Crop-tops, mistresses and flying poodles: Meet the next King of Thailand Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkor will take the throne following the death … The man once infamous for his mistresses, crop tops, and presumably fake tattoos now looks out sternly from portraits placed all over Thailand, dressed in kingly gold-brocaded robes or a trim white jacket with epaulets, a yellow sash, and a sword. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. They wrote: “We were ordered by our father not to return home to Thailand ... We were afraid to risk even demonstrating the slightest inference of disrespect toward the Royal Family.”. “I thought that Thailand would end up having a weak king,” Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a scholar of Thai politics and a dissident exiled from the country when Vajiralongkorn’s father was still king, told me in a Skype interview from Japan, where he lives. LONG LIVE THE KING! With the Southeast Asian … In effect, it gives him control of a personal private army. The King of Thailand went on a shopping trip in a crop top, someone posted it to Facebook and the King was NOT happy. With King Bhumibol Adulyadej old and ailing, many worried the Thai monarchy would atrophy into irrelevance once his playboy son ascended to the throne. Vajiralongkorn is clearly a product of Thai culture, but his evident authoritarianism also seems to fit a larger regional and even global pattern, the disillusionment with traditional liberal elites and the turn to strongman rule. In fact he is known more for his eclectic dress sense, scandal-plagued past and failed marriages than any regal qualities. King of Thailand Wears Crop Top, Internet and Government Freak Out. This crop-top sporting, tattooed bad boy rules over one of the major nations of Southeast Asia. Soldiers patrol the sidewalks alongside. She holds the rank of general in the Thai military and is believed to be the head of the King's official bodyguard unit. Neither can be as strong as it is without the other.”, “He’s not the kind of person to voluntarily relinquish any of his power,” Pavin said. Fears of a potentially powerful partnership between Mr Shinawatra and the future king were reported to have been the motivation in part for military coups in 2006 and 2014. The man once infamous for his mistresses, crop tops, and presumably fake tattoos now looks out sternly from portraits placed all over Thailand, dressed in kingly gold-brocaded robes or a … In perhaps his most remarkable display of unrestricted power, after a new constitution was adopted in a referendum, Vajiralongkorn simply rewrote the clauses having to do with the power of the king. In the largest of them, in 2010, the Red Shirts occupied the commercial center of Bangkok for nearly three months before they were crushed by the army, with some 80 Red Shirts killed and more than 2,000 injured. Thailand is a place where journalists, civic activists, lawyers, and others are summoned to a military base for “attitude adjustment,” as the well-known euphemism would have it. The Thai monarchy has never been a powerful or outspoken champion of democracy, but many Thais believed the king’s late father, Bhumibol Adulyadej, tried to soften the harshness of military rule. He’s arranged for units of the army to report directly to him. He’s also disturbingly authoritarian. Amid the turmoil, prominent members of Thailand’s ruling class have reportedly been killed in a sign of what could become a more widespread conflict. He is famous for his dedication to his pet poodle, Foo Foo, which was awarded the rank of Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Thai Air Force and given its own Wikipedia page. Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Reddit 0. Is Thailand threatening to sue Facebook? Here’s a regal dilemma to consider: Is it right for a king with 70 million subjects and wealth in excess of 70 billion dollars to be seen frolicking around in a crop top rather than a crown? Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. “Yes,” he replied. He spent much of his working life training with armed forces in Britain and the US, winning an array of military titles and a pilot’s license after developing a love of aviation. His latest book is China 1945: Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice. Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej - Life in Pictures, Crop tops, mistresses and flying poodles: meet Thailand's next king, Read more King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand dies aged 88, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. I hired a car to look at the royal compound, though it’s not easy to get glimpses inside. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. For more on him, see richardbernstein.net. “There’s a mutual interdependence between the military and the monarchy. But there seems to be very little of that in Thailand these days. It’s clear that nobody wants to be heard saying anything negative or derogatory about Vajiralongkorn. Thailand is putting the squeeze on Facebook to remove dozens of pages that have video of King Maha Vajiralongkorn wearing a crop top. In the Philippines, for example, President Rodrigo Duterte has emerged as a sort of elected strongman, carrying out a supposed war on drugs that has resulted, according to human rights groups, in more than 20,000 extrajudicial killings. That’s the way they make people give up.”. An image taken from a video widely shared on Facebook in recent weeks appears to show King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand walking through a shopping mall in a yellow crop top. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? sions among the country’s elite as to who should succeed King Bhumibol. Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Shows Off His Sick Ink | Tattoodo Cookies This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. It started in 2001 when a rich, charismatic populist, Thaksin Shinawatra, was elected prime minister via overwhelming support from the rural poor in the north and northeast of the country. It would be hard to overstate the extent of what seems to be an almost medieval reverence for the king in Thailand. Of course, not forgetting his white poodle in hand. The bizarre clip of King Maha Vajiralongkorn waltzing around a shopping centre alongside a woman has gone viral, The Sun reports. Marriages and issue A portrait of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej seen at Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre in Bangkok on October 15, 2016. Foo Foo and its owner hit the headlines in 2014 when opponents of the Crown Prince leaked a video showing his third wife, Princess Srirasm, lying on the floor feeding the dog cake while wearing nothing but a G-string. His removal of two crack army regiments in the Bangkok area from the usual chain of command and putting them under his own authority is among them. This is partly because of skillfully applied measures of repression by the military-led government, including the disappearances and apparent killings of at least eight leading opposition figures, and surveillance of others the police feel might cause trouble. Millions rely on Vox’s explainers to understand an increasingly chaotic world. Some of Thailand’s highest-profile protest leaders dressed in crop tops and paraded at a Bangkok shopping mall yesterday in a jibe against King Maha … The reverence for the king has long been enforced by the country’s lèse-majesté laws, which outlaw “defaming, insulting, or threatening” of a member of the royal family — including, for example, “Liking” that mall video on Facebook. Indeed, it’s difficult these days to think of a single country in Southeast Asia, with its 620 million people, that is becoming more democratic rather than more authoritarian. After the death of his father King Bhumibol in October 2016, Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne as His Majesty King Rama X. In one area, a row of large buildings that once housed senior members of the palace staff are empty and decaying, reportedly awaiting demolition. His body was even adorned in FAKE tattoos. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. “He wants everybody to see, whether it’s taking back the land that the zoo is on or assuming direct control of military regiments. But in a way, that was the point: Like President Trump, Vajiralongkorn gets away with things that would have ruined his predecessors, though in Vajiralongkorn’s case, this involves an intentional display of royal power, a signal that the rules that apply to everybody else don’t apply to him. It has frequently appeared at official functions; including accompanying the Crown Prince to a 2007 reception hosted in his honour by the US Ambassador Ralph Boyce. In Thailand King Vajiralongkorn is most often seen parading in his royal regalia, complete with a colourful array of medals. | Photo Credit: Reuters . While the king is back in Thailand for now, he normally lives in Germany. Thais who know about such things say his army is equipped with armored personnel carriers, anti-riot gear, and helicopters. Footage of the King of Thailand wandering around a shopping mall in Munich sporting a skimpy yellow crop top and tattoos went viral last month after being uploaded to Facebook, and Thai authorities have been fighting to get the footage taken down ever since. “Some people have gone to jail,” Sirapop Kornaroot, known as Rungsila, a dissident poet recently released after five years of detention, told me. He’s taken control of an estimated $43 billion in royal assets that have for decades been entrusted to a Crown Property Bureau that, at least theoretically, managed the money for the benefit of the Thai people. “They supported the Yellow Shirts,” he said, “because they were afraid of Thaksin coming back.” We were sitting in a covered yard alongside one of his ponds, where he grows plankton for sale to nearby fish and shrimp farmers. The fears about his ascension to power go deeper than concerns about his romantic life and canine commitment. Bangkok: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, who is set to be crowned King of Thailand after his father King Bhumibhol died on Thursday, is a womaniser, wears crop tops … The universally held belief in Bangkok is that she was thrown into the Bangkok women’s prison; on exactly what legal authority other than the king’s demand, nobody is saying. In Thailand King Vajiralongkorn is most often seen parading in his royal regalia, complete with a colourful array of medals. Born in 1952 in Bangkok’s Royal Palace, Prince Maha was educated in the UK at King’s Mead School and Millfield School before attending Australia’s Royal Military College. All of these countries have retained what a Filipino journalist, Marites Vitug, called “the trappings of power” in a conversation I had with her in Manila. Articles and stories to read or reference later are images of her wearing a top! Threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium section, under profile... 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