Thai palace releases rare images of king’s royal consort

Informal scenes show Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi aiming a rifle and piloting plane

Thailand’s palace has released rare images and a biography of the king’s freshly anointed royal consort, including candid and action-packed photos of her aiming a weapon on a firing range, piloting an aeroplane and preparing to parachute.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn bestowed the rank of “Chao Khun Phra”, or noble consort, on the 34 -year-old former army nurse Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi on his 67 th birthday in July.

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Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi pictured taking part in the royal cremation rite of Thailand’s late king Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok in 2017. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/ Reuters

She is the first woman to receive the noble rank in nearly a century. The publication of the more than 60 photos and a 46 -page biography was dated last week, but did not start disseminate online until Monday.

” The king has ordered the creation of a royal biography for Chao Khun Phra Sineenat Bilaskalayani ,” a statement released by the royal office said, use her full title.

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Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi at a firing range. Photograph: AFP/ Getty Images

The images and details provide an unusually intimate glimpse into the private lives of the powerful, ultra-wealthy monarchy, which is protected by a royal insult law that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison per count.

They show Sineenat in camouflage weariness, taking part in military drills, flying a small plane, and laughing at a table with the king, with both wearing casual clothes.

In one of the photos she is shown in traditional Thai dress standing next to Vajiralongkorn and holding his hand.

Born in the northern province of Nan, she graduated from the Royal Thai army nursing college, trained as a pilot in Thailand and abroad, and served in the king’s royal bodyguard unit, reaching the rank of major general in May.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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