Suthida named new Thai queen days before King Maha Vajiralongkorn's coronation
- Queen Suthida served in the special unit of the King’s Guard and was a former flight attendant with Thai Airways
- Vajiralongkorn has married her ‘legally and according to tradition’, according to a royal decree
The new royal is General Suthida Vajiralongkorn, whom the king wedded at the Dusit Palace on Wednesday “legally and according to tradition”, according to a royal decree.
Both signed a marriage certificate in front of guests including the king’s sister, Princess Sirindhorn, and the head of the privy council, General Prem Tinsulanonda. The princess and the senior statesman also signed the marriage certificate as witnesses to the ceremony.
A few hours after the ceremony, a royal decree was issued and local television channels reported the ceremony.
Queen Suthida is 40 years old and served in the special unit of the King’s Guard. She used to be a flight attendant at Thai Airways.
Their split came after several of Srirasmi’s relatives were arrested in a high-profile corruption scandal.
Queen Suthida first received a royally bestowed decoration in 2012 while she was serving in the crown prince’s guard regiment as a lieutenant colonel.
Six orders were issued by the office of the prime minister in 2013 to elevate the ranks of Queen Suthida. She was promoted as an army major general by the end of 2013.
The king made Suthida a full general in the Royal Thai Army in December 2016, and the deputy commander of the king’s personal guard in 2017. He also made her a Thanpuying, a royal title meaning Lady.
Vajiralongkorn’s coronation, an elaborate event, will begin on Saturday and last until Monday. Some 200,000 people from all parts of Thailand are expected to attend the event in Bangkok’s old quarter of Rattanakosin Island.
The royal decree announcing Suthida as queen came ahead of the scheduled naming ceremony of royal titles set for May 5.
The official results of the March 24 general election are then expected to be announced on May 9.
Additional reporting by Reuters