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Thai King Strips Royal Consort of Titles and Military Ranks for Ambitions to Become Queen

A statement from the palace described her as “ungrateful” for having behaved “in ways unbecoming of her title.”
October 22, 2019, 8:37am
King Vajiralongkorn and Siteen Bilaskalayani
Photo courtesy of Thailand's Royal Office / AFP

Intrigue has hit Thai royalty and it’s just as dramatic as plots from The Crown. The King of Thailand’s royal consort was stripped off her title less than three months after it was given to her for allegedly “trying to elevate herself to the same state as the Queen."

In a statement from the palace yesterday, Sineenat Bilaskalayani, 34, was accused of disloyalty for her aspirations to become queen and was described as “ungrateful” and behaving “in ways unbecoming of her title.”

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Bilaskalayani, an army nurse-turned-major general, was previously referred to with the noble name Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, which denotes that she's loyal to King Maha Vajiralongkorn. She was also a member of the king’s bodyguard corps.

Apart from losing her consort title, she was also stripped of her military ranks and decorations, including all civil servant positions in the military.

King Vajiralongkorn had given Bilaskalayani the rank of "Chao Khun Phra,” or royal noble consort on his 67th birthday in July, only two months after he married his fourth wife Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya, a former flight attendant who was named Queen. Before this, the title of royal noble consort was last used in 1932, over 80 years ago. In May, both the Queen and Bilaskalayani participated in the king’s coronation.

According to the statement, Bilaskalayani tried to stop the King from crowning Ayudhya as Queen after the two got married. This allegedly pressured the ruling monarch to give Bilaskalayani the title of consort. But apparently, this was not enough. Bilaskalayani was allegedly “not content with the title bestowed upon her, doing everything to rise to the level of the Queen.”

The palace deemed her interference as an act of “sabotage against the country and monarchy.” It said that even royal household staff were affected, as she allegedly caused “division among the royal servants and led to misunderstanding among the public.”

Even before this controversy, Bilaskalayani was already quite popular. In August, the palace released more than 60 photos of her to the public. She is seen sitting in an airplane cockpit and aiming an assault rifle in a firing range while clad in combat gear. The photos broke the internet, with the Royal Household Bureau's website crashing shortly after.

Monarchs are seen as demigods in Thailand. The country even has strict laws in place against insulting the royals. Such a crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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