Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
“Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the Royal Son and Crown Prince of Siam”) (born 28 July 1952) is the only son of Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, and Queen Sirikit.
He is the current Crown Prince of Thailand and heir apparent to the throne. Vajiralongkorn was born in the Ambara Villa of the Dusit Palace in Bangkok.
He was educated at a primary school in Bangkok, and then at private colleges in the United Kingdom (King’s Mead School, Seaford and Millfield School, Somerset) and Australia (The King’s School, Sydney).
In 1972, at the age of 20, the king gave him the title “Somdech Phra Boroma Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman”, making him the Crown Prince and heir-apparent to the throne. He later graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra, Australia. An officer in the Thai military, he trained with the Australian, British and United States armed services. He is a qualified military pilot and helicopter pilot.
On 3 January 1977 Vajiralongkorn married Princess Soamsavali Kitiyakara (born 1957), a first cousin on his mother’s side. They had one daughter, Princess Bajrakitiyabha in 1978.
Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn started living with actress Yuvadhida Polpraserth in the late 1970s and had five children with her.
Although Princess Soamsavali had refused divorce for many years, Vajiralongkorn was finally able to sue for divorce in the Family Court in January 1993. In the court proceedings, Vajiralongkorn accused Princess Soamsavali of being completely at fault for the failed relationship. She was not able to refute the charges due to the prohibition against lèse majesté. The divorce was finalized in July 1993.
When Vajiralongkorn was introduced to Yuvadhida Polpraserth, she was an aspiring actress. She became his steady companion and gave birth to his first son, Prince Juthavachara Mahidol, on 29 August 1979. He later had three more sons and a daughter by her.
They were married at a palace ceremony in February 1994, where they were blessed by the King and the Princess Mother, but not by the Queen.
After the marriage, she was allowed to change her name to Mom Sujarinee Mahidol na Ayudhaya, signifying she was a commoner married to a royal. She was also commissioned as a major in the Royal Thai Army and took part in royal ceremonies with Vajiralongkorn.
When she fled to Britain in 1996 with their children, Vajiralongkorn had posters placed around his palace accusing her of committing adultery with Anand Rotsamkhan, a 60-year-old air marshal.
The prince abducted their daughter and brought her back to Thailand to live with him. She was later elevated to the rank of princess, whilst Sujarinee and her sons were stripped of their diplomatic passports and titles. She and her sons later moved to the United States.
As of 2007, Sujarinee is known as Sujarinee Vivacharawongse. Vajiralongkorn married again, on 10 February 2001, to Srirasmi Akharaphongpreecha, a commoner from an otherwise modest background who had been in his service since 1992. The marriage was not disclosed to the public until early 2005.
She gave birth to a son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, on 29 April 2005 and was elevated to become Princess Srirasmi, Mom Srirasmi Mahidol na Ayuthaya. The son was immediately elevated to the rank of Prince.