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Chakri Dynasty commemorated on April 6

A very different and complete “Wedding Day” package at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi


Chakri Dynasty commemorated on April 6

Chakri Dynasty - Chronology of the present-day Dynasty of Thailand

Chakri Day (April 6) was first instituted by H.M. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) in the year 1919 to commemorate all the Kings in the Chakri Dynasty, which started with Rama I and continues to this day with Rama IX, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.
The reigning Kings in the House of Chakri brought peace and tranquility to the people within Thailand’s borders and successfully protected the Kingdom, maintaining sovereignty and integrity through crucial periods threatened by European colonization and two World Wars.
In commemorating Chakri Day the national flag is proudly displayed by the people of Thailand and all government officials and members of the community participate in traditional ceremonies, making offerings of flowers and garlands at the many statues of Kings in the House of Chakri.
The Chakri Dynasty was ushered in on 6 April 1782 when a close aid of King Taksin, General Chakri, marched back into Thonburi and assumed the throne as H.M. King Buddha Yod Fa Chulalok the Great (Rama I). Each Monarch thereafter has had “Rama” as part of their title.
Banks, government offices and most business offices are closed on Friday, April 6 in observance of this special day.

King Buddha Yod Fa Chula Lok the Great
(Rama I) 1782-1809

King Buddha Yod Fa Chula Lok was born in Ayutthaya on March 20, 1737, the son of Phra Aksorn Sundara Smiantra, he was formerly known as Thong Duang. Following the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 he entered the service of Phraya Taksin and fought by his side in almost every campaign until the latter became King Taksin, establishing the capital at Dhonburi. He was created Luang Yorkrabat, then Phra Rajvarin, Chao Phraya Chakri and eventually Somdetch Chao Phraya Maha Kashatriya Suk by King Taksin, and following the deposition of King Taksin in 1782 at the age of 45 he was chosen King, becoming the founder and first ruler of the House of Chakri two hundred years ago. On the year of his accession he moved the capital from Dhonburi to the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River, thus founding the city of Bangkok. It was during his reign that the Grand Palace was constructed and he installed the Emerald Buddha in the Chapel Royal following its completion. He died in Bangkok on September 7, 1809 and, as many historians have stated, the modern Siam dates from his reign.

King Buddha Loet La Nabhalai
(Rama II) 1809-1824

King Buddha Loet La Nabhalai was the son of King Rama I. He born in Rajaburi on February 26, 1768 he accompanied his father on military campaigns as a young man. He was 16 when his father ascended the throne and was immediately created a Prince of the rank of Somdetch Chao Fa and given the name of Isarasundorn. Appointed Maha Uparaja, or Deputy King by his father in 1806, he was the only Maha Uparaja to eventually succeed to the throne during the period of the Chakri Dynasty. He became king on the death of his father at the age of 42, King Rama I. His reign was a period of consolidating the achievements of the previous reign and he began the custom of appointing senior princes to supervise over the different departments of state. He is best remembered though for his interest in the arts. He was an artist, writer, composer, which flourished during his reign. He died on July 21,1824, at the age of 58.

King Nang Klao
(Rama III) 1824-1851

King Nang Klao was born in Bangkok on March 31, 1788 the future King Rama III was the son of King Rama II by a junior wife, Chao Chom Riem. At the time of the death of King Rama II his supposed heir, Prince Mongkut, had entered a monastery as a monk and Prince Chesda Bondindra, as he was then styled, was chosen as king by the Accession Council at the age of 37 and reigned for 27 years. He proved an able ruler and during his reign trade prospered and territorial advances were made as the vassal states of the north and east came more firmly under the rule of Bangkok. During his rule, in 1833, the first treaty with the United States was signed. King Rama III had no queen and thus had no children of Chao Fa rank, and so on his death on April 2, 1851 at the age of 65, the succession passed to his half-brother, who became King Mongkut (Rama IV). Although he had no son to reign as King it is an interesting genealogical fact that among his descendants were five future Kings, because his granddaughter, Queen Debsirindra, was the mother of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), thus every descendant of King Chulalongkorn has a lineal descent from King Rama III.

His Majesty King Mongkut
(Rama IV) 1851-1868

His Majesty King Mongkut was born on Thursday the 18th of October 1804. He was the second son of Phra Buddha Lertla Naphalai (King Rama II) and Queen Sri Suriyendra. His Majesty King Mongkut modernized Thailand in both commerce and education, and instituted reforms, which would adapt the country to western ways. Known as the “Father of Thai Scientists”, he was famous for his astrology. Before becoming King, the then Prince Mongkut entered the monkhood. Ironically, it was this period in monkhood, which required him to take a vow of poverty and self-denial, which gave Prince Mongkut a good understanding of statecraft. It allowed him to meet people from all walks of life, from the humblest to the elite, Thais as well as foreigners. He travelled to various parts of the Kingdom, barefoot, depending on offerings of food and other necessities from the people. From the Thais, he gained an invaluable first-hand insight into their welfare and livelihood. From the foreigners, he obtained precious information about the outside world, especially about technology and science.

King Chulalongkorn the Great
(Rama V) 1868-1910

Also known as Phra Chula Chomklao Chaoyuhua, and the eldest son of King Rama IV, King Chulalongkorn was born in Bangkok on September 20, 1853 and was crowned King on October 1, 1868, following the death of his father. The first few years of his reign were under a regency. King Chulalongkorn is perhaps the most revered of all the Chakri Kings. During his long reign of 42 years 23 days great advances were achieved for the country.
The King actively pursued a policy of modernizing the country and had a number of Europeans in his service to oversee such projects as the building of the first railway in Thailand. He himself made two visits to Europe, one in 1897 and another in 1907, during which he became acquainted with most of the rulers of Europe. He successfully managed to cultivate the idea of Siam as a buffer state between the colonial possessions of the European powers in South East Asia. The price he paid for losing certain border territories was amply rewarded, for Siam was never colonized - the only country in the region to maintain its sovereignty throughout the period of colonial expansionism. He died on October 23, 1910.

King Vajiravudh
(Rama VI) 1910-1925

King Vajiravudh was born at Bangkok on January 1, 1881. King Vajiravudh’s reigning title was Phra Mongkut Klao Chaoyuhua, was the second son of King Chulalongkorn.
Following the death of his elder half-brother, Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis, in 1895, he was appointed Crown Prince. He was educated in England and his great love of literature and poetry in both Thai and English together with his scholastic abilities was later to manifest itself during his reign. Among his lasting achievements were devising a system of transliteration of Thai into English and of translating the entire works of Shakespeare into Thai. His passion for traditional Thai theatre and ballet has left a mass of published scores, which form the basis of the study of these arts to the present day. In 1916 King Vajiravudh declared war on Germany and Thai troops fought with the Allies during the latter part of World War I. He died in Bangkok on November 26, 1925 at the early age of 44.

King Prajadhipok
(Rama VII) 1925-1935

King Prajadhipok was born in Bangkok on November 8,1893. King Prajadhipok succeeded to the throne on the death of his elder brother, King Vajiravudh. His reign coincided with the worldwide economic depression, which followed the Wall Street crash of 1929, but its effects were not unfelt in Siam. On April 6, 1932 the country celebrated the sesquicentenary of the Chakri Dynasty, two months later a coup d’etat was staged with the eventual transferral of power to a Legislative Assembly. Thus the 150-year absolute rule of the Chakri Kings came to an end and the Constitutional Monarchy of the present day was born. On December 10, 1932 King Prajadhipok granted a constitution to the Thai people and just over two years later, on March 2, 1935, having gone to live in England in order to receive medical treatment, he abdicated the throne. King Prajadhipok died in England on May 30,1941, during World War II, and his ashes were brought back to Bangkok by his widow, Queen Rambhai Barni, in 1949.

King Ananda Mahidol
(Rama VIII) 1935-1946

King Ananda Mahidol born on September 20,1925,the elder son and second child of H.R.H. Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, Prince of Songkla. He succeeded his uncle, King Prajadhipok, as King on March 2, 1935. King Ananda Mahidol spent his early years in Switzerland, receiving his education there and made occasional trips to Thailand. He returned to Bangkok after the end of World War II, but his life and his reign came to an abrupt end when he died, on June 9, 1946. King Ananda Mahidol was never crowned and shortly after his death his younger brother and successor, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, posthumously altered his regnal title and raised him from seven to nine levels of royal umbrella, as a fully crowned and anointed sovereign.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great (Rama IX)
1946 to the present

HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) was born on December 5, 1927. He succeeded his elder brother as King on June 9, 1946. On April 28, 1950 King Bhumibol Adulyadej was married to Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, a great-granddaughter of King Chulalongkorn and the following week, on May 5, 1950, was crowned as King and his wife was installed as Queen in a glittering ceremony in the Grand Palace. Their Majesties have four children, Princess Ubol Ratana Rajakanya, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana. During his reign King Bhumibol Adulyadej made numerous state visits abroad as well as having received many Heads of State in Bangkok.
As his reign advances, the growing reverence of the Thai people for their sovereign has become ever more apparent. On May 5, 1987, to mark his then forthcoming 60th birthday, the prime minister of Thailand proclaimed King Bhumibol Adulyadej “the Great”. On July 2, 1988, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great celebrated his record reign - the day on which he had reigned longer than any of his predecessors. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his accession to the Thai Throne in June 2006, HM the King and Queen presided over splendid festivities as representatives of 25 royal houses from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia had come to Bangkok to honour His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.
The world’s longest-reigning Monarch, celebrated his eightieth birthday, and now sixty-one years on the Thai Throne, continues to be, as he has been for the six decades of his just reign, “The light of his land, the pride of his people and a shining example to all peoples of the world.”

Excerpts courtesy of Sawasdee magazine/Chiang Mai Mail


A very different and complete “Wedding Day” package at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi

Glamerous models presented wedding garbs on the Dhara Dhevi catwalk.

The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi recently held a press conference to launch “Our Wedding Proposal 2008”, attended, as well as the usual press suspects, by several possible “mother in laws” and at least two “would be” brides! The hotel’s General Manager, Mark Bradford, introduced the co-sponsors of the event, including the Wine Gallery, WOW 88 Studio and Earth Wind and Fire. Complete “Wedding Packages” are available for different budgets and guest numbers, ranging from an elegant garden event, to a lavish ballroom setting. Styles can be Western, Lanna or Traditional Thai. The hotel also offers various types of accommodation to suit various sizes of budget, including a villa designed as an authentic Northern Thai rice house, “Colonial” suites, and “Signature residences” or even a “Royal Residence” which would be amazing for the wedding night! If the happy couple have decided to stay somewhere else, they can be driven away in a horse drawn carriage or even drift into the sky in a hot air balloon! Many different and well thought out choices to celebrate that “happiest day”!