THAI King Maha Vajiralongkorn has married his long-term consort and given her the title Queen Suthida just days before his coronation.
Official photos show Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, a former Thai Airways flight attendant, laying on the floor as she was given a gift by the king during the ceremony.
EPA Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn marries his consort
Reuters Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, newly named Queen Suthida, prays at the feet of her husband during the ceremony
Reuters Man and wife… Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, a former Thai Airways flight attendant, ‘legally married’ the King in accordance with royal traditions
Reuters Queen Suthida signs marriage license documents during the royal marriage registration
The surprise announcement was carried in the Royal Gazette and footage from Wednesday’s wedding ceremony was later shown on the nightly Royal News segment aired on all Thai television channels.
Vajiralongkorn, 66, also known by the title King Rama X, became constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016, after 70 years on the throne.
He is due to be officially crowned in elaborate Buddhist and Brahmin ceremonies on Saturday, followed by a procession through Bangkok the next day.
In 2014, Vajiralongkorn appointed Suthida Tidjai, a former flight attendant for Thai Airways, as a deputy commander of his bodyguard unit.
Some royal observers and foreign media had linked Suthida romantically with the king, but the palace had previously never acknowledged a relationship between them.
The king made Suthida a full general in the Royal Thai Army in December 2016, and the deputy commander of the king’s personal guard in 2017. He also made her a Thanpuying, a royal title meaning Lady.
Among the dignitaries at the wedding were Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the military junta that has run Thailand since a 2014 army coup, as well as other members of the royal family and palace advisers, the wedding footage showed.
Vajiralongkorn has previously been married and divorced three times and has seven children.
While the king took the throne after the death of his father, his formal coronation follows a mourning period for King Bhumibol, whose royal cremation was held a year after his death.
Reuters King Maha Vajiralongkorn succeeded to the throne of Thailand in December 2016 and is a popular monarch
Leser-Reporter / BILD Here the individualistic king is seen at a Munich airport wearing an eyebrow-raising crop top while his new wife who is carrying a poodle
EPA The King’s glamorous wife has been seen at many royal ceremonies in recent years
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