Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Thai royal court shares rare candid shots of king's consort

The usually private palace revealed a series of images of Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, as well as a biography

The royal palace of Thailand has released a selection of never-before-seen images and a biography of the king's newly anointed consort. The pictures include personal and candid shots of former army nurse Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, as well as some showing her firing a weapon, piloting a plane, and preparing to parachute from a plane.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn bestowed the rank of Chao Khun Phra, or noble consort, on Sineenat, 34, on his 67th birthday in July. She is the first woman to receive this rank in nearly a century.

The publication of the 60-plus photos, alongside the 46-page biography, started circulating online on Monday — and demand was so great that the website revealing them crashed.

"The king has ordered the creation of a royal biography for Chao Khun Phra Sineenat Bilaskalayani," said the Royal Office , using her full title.

The images provide an intimate glimpse into the private lives of the powerful monarchy.

Born in the northern province of Nan, Sineenat graduated from the Royal Thai Army Nursing College, trained as a pilot, and served in the king's royal bodyguard unit, reaching the rank of major general in May.

A cycling and aviation enthusiast who spends much of his time abroad in Germany, King Vajiralongkorn was crowned in May in an elaborate three-day ceremony that Sineenat participated in.

The ceremony took place days after an announcement that Vajiralongkorn had married Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, a former flight attendant and deputy commander of the monarch's security detail.

Suthida is the fourth wife of the monarch, who has a teenage son from his third marriage and six other children.

The king is not yet as well known to the public as his beloved father Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in 2016.

Updated: August 27, 2019 02:27 PM

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