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Days Before Coronation Ceremony, a Surprise Queen

Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn announces he's been married to Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2019 12:37 PM CDT
In this photo, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, left, sits with Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn at Ampornsan Throne Hall in Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday.   (Bureau of the Royal Household via AP)

(Newser) – First an emperor's coronation in Japan; next, one coming up in Thailand. King Maha Vajiralongkorn—who took over the monarchy in 2016 when his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died—will finally have an official coronation ceremony Saturday, and the thrice-divorced leader has a new queen to celebrate with him. The AP reports Vajiralongkorn has appointed his consort, Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn, to be the new royal by his side—and she shares his last name because the two were wed Wednesday "legally and according to tradition," per the South China Morning Post.

Queen Suthida is said to be 40 years old and a former flight attendant at Thai Airways, joining the palace guard in 2014 and heading up her new husband's bodyguard unit. Over the past three years, she has often been spotted by 66-year-old Vajiralongkorn's side during formal events sporting a white army uniform. Details on her up to this point have been scarce. (Read more Thailand stories.)

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