Thailand's royal family at a glance

PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK - Until his death on Thursday Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the world's longest-reigning monarch.

Officially known as King Rama IX, he descended from the Chakri dynasty which came to power in Thailand in the late eighteenth century.

Both local and international media must self-censor in Thailand when reporting on the royal family due to the country's lese majeste law - one of the strictest in the world.

Under the legislation anyone convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent faces up to 15 years in prison on each count.

The following are brief profiles of members of the Thai royal family.

The king's only son and the next in line to the throne, Vajiralongkorn was born on July 28, 1952.

This file combination picture released in 1955 shows Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit posing with their first two children Princess Ubol Ratana and Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Photo: AFP

He studied in Britain and Australia before embarking on a military career.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his F5-E jet fighter are shown in 1996. Photo: The Nation

Officially married three times, the Crown Prince has had a colourful personal life.

He married his first wife in 1977, a cousin, Princess Soamsavali Kitiyakara, with whom he has a daughter. They later divorced.

In 2001 he married a woman who became known as Princess Srirasmi in a private ceremony. She gave birth to a boy, Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, on April 29, 2005.

In late 2014, Srirasmi suffered a very public fall from grace when several members of her family were arrested as part of a police corruption probe and charged with lese majeste.

The Prince Married Srirasmi (above) in February 2001. Photo: The Nation

Vajiralongkorn later divorced her and she lost her royal titles.

The crown prince has spent much of his time away from the public eye, but in recent years he has stepped in at some official ceremonies as his father's health declined.

In August 2015 he led key figures of the current junta and thousands of others in a mass bike ride through Bangkok, a rare high-profile appearance which analysts said amounted to a public declaration of support from the country's military rulers.

But he has yet to draw the same level of public devotion as his revered father.

Daughter of the Thai ambassador to France, Sirikit Kitiyakara met Bhumibol, her distant cousin, shortly before he ascended to the throne.

Their relationship developed at his hospital bedside in Switzerland, where Bhumibol had been studying, after he suffered a serious car accident which cost him the sight in one eye.

The pair were married in a Bangkok palace on April 28, 1950, a week before his coronation.

This file picture released in September 1949 shows Sirikit Kitiyakara, then the fiancee of Bhumibol Adulyadej (L), the future Thai King. Photo: AFP

She was always seen by her husband's side but has retreated from public life in recent years due to ill health.

Behind the scenes she has been a formidable figure, forging strong links to the country's business and military elites.

Sirikit's portrait adorns roadsides across the kingdom and people celebrate Mother's Day on her birthday.

The king and queen had four children.

The royal couple's daughter Sirindhorn, beloved by many Thais, was born on April 2, 1955.

She is a devoted scholar who lectures in history and speaks English, French, Chinese, German and Thai as well as mastering Latin, according to her official biography.

Her work with charities, notably as head of the Thai Red Cross, has won her admiration and she regularly represents the palace at official events.

In recent years she has been the most visible senior royal family member, continuing her father's tradition of sponsoring development projects across rural Thailand.

A file photo of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana. Photo: The Straits Times

The king in 1977 elevated Sirindhorn to a higher rank with the newly created title of crown princess, three years after the Thai constitution was amended to allow women to take the throne.

She is unmarried and has no children.

Ubolratana, 65, the first-born child of Bhumibol and Sirikit, studied in the United States at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Phannavadi, eldest child of King Bhumibhol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand, was in Singapore this week for her first film, Where The Miracle Happens. Photo: The New Paper.

While in Boston, she met and eventually married American Peter Jensen. Ubolratana gave up her royal title and raised her family in the US.

She and Jensen divorced in 1998, and three years later she moved back to Thailand.

Their second son, Poom Jensen, was autistic and Ubolratana has worked to promote awareness of the condition. He was killed at the age of 21 during the 2004 tsunami while on holiday at the southern Thai resort destination of Khao Lak.

The youngest child in the royal family was born on July 4, 1957.

She studied chemistry at Kasetsart University and later received a doctorate.

She has used her position to promote the sciences in Thailand and was the first Asian to be invited to join Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry as an honorary fellow, according to her official biography.

She married an air force officer, Virayuth Didyasarin, in 1982. Because he was a commoner, she was supposed to give up her royal title but her father granted her special permission to keep it.

The couple later divorced, but have two daughters.

A look back at Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej's life

  • King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world's longest-reigning monarch. His health has been fragile and he has not appeared in public for months.
  • King Ananda Mahidol (pictured here), 20, is found dead in his palace bedroom in Bangkok with a single gunshot wound in the head from a Colt .45 he kept by his bedside. His death shocks the nation. Within hours, his brother Bhumibol Adulyadej, 18, is named the new king. He returns to Switzerland to continue his studies while an uncle acts as regent. The case is later ruled as murder, and two royal servants and a personal secretary of the former king are convicted and executed for plotting to assassinate him.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej being carried by a cortege during the coronation ceremony in Thailand. Taken on May 5, 1950.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit posing with their first child Princess Ubol Ratana in April 1951.
  • (on left) Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej receiving flowers from a villager.
  • (on right) Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit posing with their first two children Princess Ubol Ratana and Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in 1955.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (centre) on the throne at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej taking a picture during his trip to Cambodia. Taken on July 7, 1980
  • Japanese Emperor Akihito (second from right) and Empress Michiko (second from left) posing with Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (right) and Queen Sirikit at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Taken on Sept 25, 1991.
  • King Bhumibol Adulyadej receiving garlands from villagers. Photo made available by the Thai Royal Bureau on June 5, 2006.
  • (From left) Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Sirikit appearing at a balcony of Anantasamakom Throne Hall in Bangkok to mark the King's birthday. Taken on Dec 5, 1999.
  • Tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan (left) being granted a royal audience with Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Chitralada Palace in Bangkok.
  • French President Jacques Chirac (right) speaking to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the start of a gala dinner at the Royal Palace in Bangkok. Taken on Feb 17, 2006.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his wife Queen Sirikit (left) reviewing the guard of honour during the military parade to celebrate his 81st birthday in Bangkok, Thailand. Taken on Dec 2, 2008.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as he sits on a wheelchair during an appearance at a hospital in Bangkok on Oct 23, 2009.
  • Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meeting King Bhumibol at his palace in Hua Hin in 2009.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej waving to well-wishers after the royal ceremony for his 83rd birthday in Bangkok. Taken on Dec 5, 2010.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (centre) sitting in a wheelchair as he departs Siriraj hospital to grant an audience on his 85th birthday celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec 5, 2012.
  • Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (centre), Queen Sirikit (second from right) and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (right) visiting Thung Makham. Taken on May 25, 2012.
  • King Bhumibol has been on the throne since 1946. A well-wisher was among those who prayed for his well-being in Bangkok on Oct 10, 2016.
  • On Oct 10, 2016, well-wishers pray in front of a picture of King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok where he is usually treated when ill.
  • A well-wisher at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, where the king is treated when his health condition is serious.
  • Images of King Bhumibol were held during a parade at a festival in Narathiwat on Sep 17, 2016.
  • King Bhumibol has been in hospital since the end of May and has received treatment for various ailments.
  • Well-wishers held up portraits of King Bhumibol at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok on Oct 10, 2016.
  • The king was last seen in public on Jan 11, 2016, when he left hospital to visit his Bangkok palace for a few hours.
  • The king is widely adored by many Thais, who revere him as a semi-divine figure.
  • This exquisite cigarette box was a gift from King Bhumibol to Singapore's President S R Nathan in 2005. It is displayed at the Istana Heritage Gallery.
  • King Bhumibol welcoming President S R Nathan in his state visit in 2005.
  • Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew ande Mrs Lee meeting King Bhumibol at his palace in Bangkok in 1998.
  • The king has been treated for various ailments during a year-long hospitalisation in the Thai capital.
  • Many Thais see the king as a pillar of stability in a country which has seen bouts of political unrest over the past decade following the downfall of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
  • Women offer prayers for Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital, where the king is being treated, in Bangkok on October 11, 2016.
  • Women offer prayers for Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital, where the king is being treated, in Bangkok on October 11, 2016.
  • Women hold portraits of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as they pray for his health at Siriraj Hospital, where the king is being treated, in Bangkok on October 11, 2016.
  • Thai citizens started wearing pink en masse as soon as word spread that the colour has "auspicious power" for their beloved King's good health.
  • Many people wearing pink headed to the Siriraj Hospital to write get-well messages and pray for His Majesty to recover.
  • Many people wearing pink headed to the Siriraj Hospital to write get-well messages and pray for His Majesty to recover.
  • Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha along with his wife, plus military leaders, members of the National Council for Peace and Order, and Cabinet ministers, left well-wishes for the monarch at Sala Sahathai Samakhom in the Grand Palace, while wearing pink and yellow.
  • Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha along with his wife, plus military leaders, members of the National Council for Peace and Order, and Cabinet ministers, left well-wishes for the monarch at Sala Sahathai Samakhom in the Grand Palace, while wearing pink and yellow.
  • Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha along with his wife, plus military leaders, members of the National Council for Peace and Order, and Cabinet ministers, left well-wishes for the monarch at Sala Sahathai Samakhom in the Grand Palace, while wearing pink and yellow.

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