65th Royal Wedding Anniversary
65 years ago, on April 28, 1950 – King Bhumibol Adulyadej married Sirikit Kitiyakara at Srapathum Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
King Bhumibol succeeded to the throne on June 9, 1946 upon the death of his older brother King Ananda Mahidol from a gunshot wound under circumstances that have never been fully explained. At the time, the 18 year-old Bhumibol Adulyadej was attending the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He returned to the university after his brother’s death and continued his studies.
During his university days, King Bhumibol Adulyadej frequently visited Paris and it was there that he met his future wife Sirikit Kitiyakara who was the daughter of the Thai ambassador to France.
In October of 1948, King Bhumibol Adulyadej had a serious car accident on a road near Lausanne, Switzerland and lost his right eye and has worn a prosthetic since. Sirikit visited him frequently during his hospital stay and decided to attend school in Lausanne so she could be closer to the King.
The couple got engaged on July 19, 1949 and married at Srapathum Palace in Bangkok, Thailand on April 28, 1950, just a week before the king’s coronation. After the coronation on May 5, 1950, the 22 year old king and the 17 year-old queen returned to their studies in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The couple has 3 daughters and one son: Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya (born 1951), Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (born 1952), Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (born 1955), and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak (born 1957).
The health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (age 87) and Queen Sirikit (age 82) has declined in recent years. The king has resided at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok for several years. The queen suffered a stroke in July of 2012 and has since refrained from public appearances.