Sunday, September 25, 2022

Richest, least loved. Thailand’s king turns 70 and is questioned for abuses and suspicion of corruption

And a. With one on Thursday, 28 July, there are already four birthdays that Thai people celebrate in honor of a king who appears neither on the balcony of his palace, nor on the national network. Since he came to the throne, in 2019, Maha Vajiralongkorn has spent all of his birthday in Bavaria, Germany, while the Kingdom of Thailand is invaded by gigantographies with his image and monumental parades at military speed. excessive birthdays – the reasons for their deployment and their cost – and in the absence of Maha’s, known as Rama X, might have gone unnoticed if it had not been for the pandemic. During the first and strictest coronavirus lockdown, Maha rented out an entire hotel in the Alps. According to German media, on 14 flights he took with him his crew of bodyguards, his harem of 20 concubines, his 30 poodles and a large part of his jewelry and works of art, as well as the treasury of the state temples.

Maha, the crown of Thailand is surrounded by gold. Getty Images

For Andrew McGregor Marshall, a journalist specializing in the Thai monarchy, the king’s wives are usually in a room called the “pleasure room” and are drugged so that the Maha can rein in his sexual desires. In Thailand, a country in which the monarchy plays a fundamental role, people are increasingly angered by a monarch who has had unspeakable events, such as the appointment of a poodle as commander of the air force, but who without any explanation. Even imprisons people. , British newspapers before they put the crown on him economist He told that the heir was a rejected and fearful creature. even more. In the king who never smilesIn an unauthorized biography of Maha’s father, Raja Bhumibol, its author, Paul Handley, defines him as “a violent person” and “a threat to national security”.

Queen Suthida kneels during her husband's coronation at the Royal Palace in Bangkok in 2019.  The crown, one of the jewels of that royal house, weighs 7.3 kg.
Queen Suthida kneels during her husband’s coronation at the Royal Palace in Bangkok in 2019. The crown, one of the jewels of that royal house, weighs 7.3 kg.Getty Images

Ram speed X

The coronation of Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkul could be a good red flag. However, if one thinks about it, it may not be so easy to explain: since the 13th century, these events have been pure splendor, luxury and grandeur. And if anyone thought that because it was held only four years ago, in the 21st century and the world economy was in crisis, things were going to get more difficult, they were wrong. The coronation lasted several days and included a monumental procession. As soon as he took office, he began to control the army and then moved on to control of the property of the Royal House.

The Thai king owns the villa in Tutzing, Germany, where he spends most of his time.  During the coronavirus quarantine, the emperor decided to settle in that European country: he rented a hotel for himself, his own harem of 20 women, bodyguards and a retinue of dogs ...
The Thai king owns the villa in Tutzing, Germany, where he spends most of his time. During the coronavirus quarantine, the emperor decided to settle in that European country: he rented a hotel for himself, his own harem of 20 women, bodyguards and a retinue of dogs … Getty Images

According to the publications of specialized financial journals Forbes You business InsiderMaha currently holds the number one position in personal fortune Royal Family Of world. He not only inherited the Crown Jewels: for example, he has a Golden Jubilee Diamond, 545 carats and a value of $12 million; And, in addition, the Great Crown of Victory, which weighs 7.3 kg, contains gems and a large diamond from India. In addition, he runs the Crown Property Office and owns hundreds of other businesses. Less, many say, that, over the years, Maha grew his fortune from $30 billion to over 70 billion. And it is believed to have done so with opaque processes.

King, in 2020, in one of his Rolls-Royces.  Cars and airplanes are Maha's great hobbies.  As well as women.  He was married four times and has many mistresses.  In the photo, the king is accompanied by Queen Suthida and Princess Bajrakitiyabha.
King, in 2020, in one of his Rolls-Royces. Cars and airplanes are Maha’s great hobbies. As well as women. He was married four times and has many mistresses. In the photo, the king is accompanied by Queen Suthida and Princess Bajrakitiyabha. Getty Images

Even before taking office, a biographer of Bhumibol, considered a sensible monarch who spent seven decades on the throne, pointed to the current king’s interest in luxury cars, planes and questionable business. According to McGregor Marshall, Bhumibol had already noticed his son’s dark side: “The king, who would be his successor, knowing of some of his skill, his profession to parties and scandals, tried to straighten him out. ” For the former emperor his son Maha, who was educated in superior institutions but who could not even tie his shoelaces at the age of 12, was a disappointment. McGregor Marshall said: “At some point, he suggested that if his son didn’t get on track, he would break tradition and give the throne to his daughter, Princess Sirindhorn. But it was only a game: although he knew that. His son would be a poor king, Bhumibol was a conservative man: he wanted a man to be his successor. He had no choice.”

Maha in 2019, during his coronation.  Following the traditions of Thailand, they were taken in a palanquin procession across the city of Bangkok.
Maha in 2019, during his coronation. Following the traditions of Thailand, they were taken in a palanquin procession across the city of Bangkok. Getty Images

little more than don juan

It was some rumors of mistreatment of the subjects that gave rise to discontent with Maha in his own country. But, mainly, the abuse and humiliation, he says, is with his four ex-wives and most of his seven children. “My son is a bit of a don Juan (…). If the people of Thailand do not accept his behavior, he will have to change it or leave the royal family,” his mother Queen Sirikit warned in 1982 .

Bowing during the 2019 Maha (Rama X) coronation ceremony at the Grand Palace.  The parties, which lasted three days, cost about $31 million.  Those who greeted the heir of Rama IX, who ruled for seventy years, had to crawl so as not to ever be above his height.
Bowing during the 2019 Maha (Rama X) coronation ceremony at the Grand Palace. The parties, which lasted three days, cost about $31 million. Those who greeted the heir of Rama IX, who ruled for seventy years, had to crawl so as never to be above his height. Getty Images

And although the Thai people are opening their eyes more and more to the delusion of the king who has fallen to them, there is little they can do. Her Majesty’s laws in the country impose a sentence of several years in prison for anyone who dares to say something against the Maha, his way of exercising the monarchy or even, when he is in a thong with his wife. Appears in the video, then criticizes it. Asked if he thought Maha could be deposed or deposed, McGregor Marshall said: “Society is rioting, making fun of the monarchy. This is something that Thailand’s part is doing. It hasn’t happened throughout history. The longer it stays in power, the more difficult it will be for the Thai monarchy to survive.”

Everything big.  Here, royal boats ply the Chao Phraya River to celebrate Maha's coronation in 2019.
Everything big. Here, royal boats ply the Chao Phraya River to celebrate Maha’s coronation in 2019. Getty Images
Magazine cover Hello!  This week
Magazine cover Hello! This weekPhoto: Matias Salgado

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