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Royal Drama: A Consort Is Stripped of Her Titles

Thailand's king says Sineenat Bilaskalayani was acting like a queen
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2019 10:05 AM CDT
This undated photo posted Aug. 26, 2019, shows Sineenat Wongvajirabhakdi. She has been stripped of her title as royal consort.   (Thailand Royal Office via AP)
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(Newser) – Some serious drama is unfolding in Thailand's royal palace: The new king has just demoted and publicly castigated a young woman on whom he had bestowed the coveted ranking of royal consort. Sineenat Bilaskalayani, also known as Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, was apparently acting too much like a queen, reports Bloomberg. And Thailand already has one of those. The background: King Maha Vajiralongkorn was crowned in May, and days before his coronation he announced a surprise wedding to Suthida Vajiralongkorn, now 41. Thus, Thailand had a new king and queen. Then in July, the 67-year-old king made the rare move of bestowing the title of royal consort—such a designation hadn't been made in a century—on Sineenat.

It's not clear what the 34-year-old Sineenat's royal duties were, but things clearly didn't go well. "Sineenat's behavior disrespected the monarchy, caused conflict among royal household officials, and created misunderstanding among the public," says a royal statement. Essentially, she's accused of being too "ambitious" and of attempting to "elevate herself to the same state as the queen," says the announcement, per the BBC. Sineenat is a pilot and nurse who served in the king's bodyguard unit and achieved the rank of major-general, notes the Guardian. However, she has now been stripped of her military ranks as well. (Read more Thailand stories.)

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