King Maha Vajiralongkorn will have his official coronation on Saturday

By Stephanie Petit
May 01, 2019 01:21 PM
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Thailand’s King Maha and Queen Suthida
Bureau of the Royal Household/AP/Shutterstock

Thailand has a new king…and queen!

King Maha Vajiralongkorn – who will have his official coronation on Saturday – announced Wednesday that he had married his consort, General Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya, and named her Queen Suthida, according to the Associated Press.

The announcement was reportedly made in the Royal Gazette, although it did not give a date of the wedding. Thai television stations broadcast the royal order on Wednesday along with a video of Suthida, wearing a pale pink dress, laying before the king and presenting him with a tray of flowers and joss sticks, AP reports. Suthida, 40, was presented gifts in return.

The couple also signed a marriage certificate book, also signed by the king’s sister, Princess Sirindhorn, and Privy Council head as witnesses. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and other senior officials were also in attendance at the ceremony.

Bureau of the Royal Household/AP/Shutterstock

King Maha, 66, became monarch after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016. The exact reason for the delayed formal coronation is unknown, although it was initially said to be due to a mourning period for the king’s father.

The Thai monarch has had three previous marriages. He divorced his most recent wife in 2014.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya
Bureau of the Royal Household/AP/Shutterstock

Little is known about Thailand’s new queen. The couple reportedly met on a flight when she was working as a flight flight attendant for Thai Airways International.

In 2013, Suthida joined the palace guard. King Maha then appointed Suthida as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit. He made Suthida a full general in December 2016 after he became king, and the deputy commander of the king’s personal guard in 2017. He also made her a Thanpuying, a royal title meaning Lady.