At the heart of Mainland Southeast Asia lies Thailand, a nation known for its gorgeous temples, loud tuk-tuks, relaxing massages, and vibrant nightlife. Its mix of traditional culture and modern identity is best exemplified by its current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X. 

Map of Thailand | Source: CDC.Gov

Background On Maha Vajiralongkorn

Maha Vajiralongkorn is the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sikirit. He was born on July 28, 1952. As the only son, he was valued greatly and was given the name “Vajiralongkorn”, which translates to “adorned with jewels or thunderbolts”.  

King Rama X Alongside His Parents | Source: The Guardian

As his name suggests, King Maha Vajiralongkorn lives a very lavish lifestyle. He had private royal tutors until the age of 13 when he started going to school in England and Australia. He graduated from the Royal Military College in Canberra in 1976. After graduation, he joined the Thai army and served as an officer. He had military training in Thailand, England, the US, and Australia. Rama X is also a qualified military and civic pilot who flies his own Boeing 737 plane.  

Throne Ascension

When his father died in 2016, Vajiralongkorn asked that his coronation be delayed so that Thailand can grieve. Three years after his father died, in 2019, Vajiralongkorn was officially declared Rama X. His coronation ceremony cost the government $31 million. Around 1,300 people and elephants paraded near the Grand Palace for six-and-a-half hours. It is said that the king wore a 15-pound crown and rode a palanquin carried by 16 people who changed every 500 meters.  

Coronation of King Rama X | Source: Wikipedia

Although King Rama X has official duties in Thailand, he spends a huge amount of time in his home in Germany. He was reportedly staying in a four-star hotel in the Bavarian Alps during the coronavirus outbreak. He was also seen cycling in a crop top along the streets of Bavaria and Switzerland. 

Maha Vajiralongkorn With His Family | Source: LoveToKnow

Some also call King Rama X a playboy. He has had four marriages. His fourth marriage with Queen Suthida was celebrated a few days before his coronation. He also has a regent and has fathered seven children by three women.   

Flag of Royal Thai Armed Forces | Source: Wikipedia

As king of Thailand, he has command over the Royal Thai Armed Forces and also the Crown Property Bureau. The Crown Property Bureau provides the palace with an estimated $300 million annual income. Due to strict lese-majeste laws that prohibit citizens to speak ill of the monarch and the large annual income, King Rama X continues his lavish lifestyle.  

Thailand 50 Baht | 2018 | Source: Banknote World

Banknotes Featuring Maha Vajiralongkorn

The blue 50 Thai baht note is from 2018. Its obverse side features King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) in the Royal Thai Air Force commanding uniform. Its reverse side features two Thai monarchs: King Nangkiao (Rama III) and King Mongkut (Rama IV). The reverse side also features a Chinese junk ship and a Khao Wang (astronomical observatory). Security features include a windowed security thread and a Rama X watermark with an electrotype 50. 

Thailand 1,000 Baht | 2020 | Source: Banknote World

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