Human Interest

Thai royal house tightlipped over princess’s health status

Bangkok, Dec 17 (EFE).- The Thai Royal House remained silent on Saturday over the health of Princess Bajrakitiyabha, King Vajiralongkorn’s eldest daughter, who was hospitalized three days ago due to a cardiac ailment.

There has been no word from the royals on her condition after a brief statement on Thursday afternoon.

The statement said the 44-year-old princess lost consciousness on Wednesday afternoon while training her dog for a competition in the Nakhon Ratchasima city, about 250 km northeast of Bangkok.

She was flown to the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in the capital.

Since then, the health condition of the princess has remained shrouded in secrecy.

On Saturday, the royal house said King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida “tested positive for COVID-19 and have moderate symptoms.”

The monarchs were pictured on Friday when they went to the Bangkok hospital to see the princess.

They had their faces covered by masks.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and other senior officials visited the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital on Friday, where they laid orange flowers – a color associated with the princess – at an altar below an official portrait of Bajrakitiyabha.

The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, the head of Buddhist monks in the Southeast Asian nation, had urged all Thai temples to hold daily chanting sessions for the princess’ recovery.

The Thai Islamic affairs authority and Catholic bishops made a similar call on Friday.

Bajrakitiyabha, who turned 44 last week, is the only daughter from King Vajiralongkorn’s first marriage to his first cousin, Princess Soamsawali – whom he divorced in 1991.

After her father’s ascension to the throne in 2016, Bajrakitiyabha – considered by many to be the most suitable heir to the throne – took on a more prominent role in royal ceremonies and acts and in representing the country.

Vajiralongkorn, 70, has not yet named a successor.

With a doctorate in law from the University of Chicago and a degree in international relations, Princess Bajrakitiyabha served as Thailand’s ambassador to Austria between 2012 and 2014.

She held several positions representing the country at the United Nations, including at the UN Women’s agency and, more recently, at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. EFE


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