Human Interest

Thailand prays for princess, condition shrouded in secrecy after heart issue

Bangkok, Dec 16 (EFE).- Places of worship across Thailand on Friday held prayers for King Vajiralongkorn’s eldest daughter Princess Bajrakitiyabha, following her collapse earlier this week due to a heart condition.

Bajrakitiyabha, 44, lost consciousness on Wednesday afternoon while training her dog for a competition in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, about 250 kilometers northeast of Bangkok. She was later transferred by helicopter to the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in the capital.

Little is known about her condition, which was described in a brief royal statement Thursday as “stable to a certain extent.”

Thailand’s 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, on Thursdays urged all Thai temples to hold daily chanting sessions for the princess’ recovery.

The Thai Islamic affairs authority 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 has served as Thailand’s ambassador to Austria between 2012 and 2014 and has 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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