Chakri Dynasty

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Chakri Dynasty
Emblem of the House of Chakri
Country Kingdom of Thailand
Titles King of Siam (1782–1940)
King of Thailand (1940–)
Founded 1782
Founder Rama I
Current head Rama IX
Ethnicity founder Thai, Mon, Chinese
later add Persian

The Chakri Dynasty (Thai: ราชวงศ์จักรี; RTGS: Ratchawong Chakkri, Thai pronunciation: [râat.tɕʰa.woŋ.tɕàk.krii], Pronunciation) is the current ruling royal house of the Kingdom of Thailand, while the Head of the house is the King of Thailand. The dynasty has ruled Thailand since the founding of the Rattanakosin Era and the city of Bangkok in 1782 following the end of King Taksin of Thonburi's reign, when the capital of Siam shifted to Bangkok. The royal house was founded by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, an Ayutthayan military leader of Sino-Mon descent.

Prior to the founding of the dynasty, King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (also known as Rama I) held the title of Chao Pharaya Chakri for over ten years. This title was held by the greatest warlords of Ayutthaya Kingdom and was meant to reflect the prowess of the holder on the battlefield. In founding the dynasty, King Rama I himself chose "Chakri" as both the name and emblem for the dynasty. The Chakri is composed of the discus (Chakra) and the trident (Trisula, sometimes shortened to "Tri" in Thai), the celestial weapon of the god Narayana (an avatar of Vishnu) of whom the Thai sovereign is seen as a incarnation. The name Chakri thus denotes the transcending force of divine strength and stability upon the physical realm. (Cf. Chakravartin.)

The current head of the house has been King Bhumibol Adulyadej since 1946, while his heir apparent is Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. The house's current dynastic seat is the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Royal Family of Thailand[edit]

Photograph of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej and Mom Sangwal (later the Princess Mother).
The Chakri Mahaprasat, inside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, the dynastic seat and official residence of the Chakri Monarchs.

The present royal family of Thailand is descended from HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej of Songkla (1891–1929) and Srinagarindra (later Princess Mother) (1900–95) forming the House of Mahidol (ราชสกุลมหิดล) ( a cadet branch of the Dynasty). The Prince was a son of King Chulalongkorn the Great and his wife Queen Consort Savang Vadhana. The Prince was also the half-brother of both King Vajiravudh and King Prajadhipok. After the death of King Ananda Mahidol (Prince Mahidol's elder son), the present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (the Prince's younger son) ascended the throne in 1946. In 1949 the King married his first cousin once removed, Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara (a daughter of Mom Chao Nakkhatra Mangkala Kitiyakara, a grandson of King Chulalongkorn).

Members[edit]

This is a list of current members of the royal family:

Other Members[edit]

Other non-official members[edit]

  • HSH Prince Juthavachara Mahidol (the Crown Prince's first son, birth by his ex-wife)
  • HSH Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol (the Crown Prince's second son, birth by his ex-wife)
  • HSH Prince Chakriwat Mahidol (the Crown Prince's third son, birth by his ex-wife)
  • HSH Prince Vatchrawee Mahidol (the Crown Prince's fourth son, birth by his ex-wife)

Recently deceased members[edit]

History[edit]

Monarchs[edit]

Portrait Name Birth Start of reign End of reign Consorts Issue
Rama I Phrabat Somdet Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke
(Rama I)
20 March 1737
Ayutthaya
6 April 1782
(crowned at the Dusit Maha Prasat Hall, Grand Palace on 10 June 1782)
7 September 1809
Phaisan Thaksin Hall, Grand Palace
aged 72
Queen Amarindra
and 31 other consorts
42 progeny
(17 sons and 25 daughters)
Rama II Phrabat Somdet Phra Buddha Loetla Nabhalai
(Rama II)
24 February 1767
Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province
7 September 1809
(crowned at the Phaisan Thaksin Hall)
21 July 1824
Chakraphat Phiman Hall, Grand Palace
aged 57
Queen Srisuriyendra
Princess Consort Sri Sulalai
and 51 other consorts
73 progeny
(38 sons and 35 daughters)
Rama III Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramintharamaha
Jessadabodindra
Phra Nangklao Chao Yu Hua
(Rama III)
31 March 1788
Derm Palace, Thonburi
21 July 1824
(crowned at the Phaisan Thaksin Hall)
2 April 1851
Chakraphat Phiman
aged 63
42 consorts 51 progeny
(22 sons and 29 daughters)
Rama IV Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramentharamaha
Mongkut
Phra Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua
(Rama IV)
18 October 1804
Derm Palace, Thonburi
2 April 1851
(crowned at the Phaisan Thaksin Hall on 6 April 1851)
1 October 1868
Phra Abhinaowas Niwet Residential Hall, Grand Palace
aged 63
Queen Somanas Vadhanavadi
Queen Debsirindra
Princess Pannarai
and 58 other consorts
82 progeny
(39 sons and 43 daughters)
Rama V Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramintharamaha
Chulalongkorn
Phra Chunla Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua
(Rama V)
20 September 1853
Sitalaphirom Residential Hall, Grand Palace
1 October 1868
(crowned at the Phaisan Thaksin Hall on 11 November 1868 (1st time) and 16 November 1873 (2nd time))
23 October 1910
Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, Dusit Palace
aged 57
Queen Sunandha Kumariratana
Queen Sukumalmarsri
Queen Savang Vadhana
Queen Saovabha Bongsri
and 88 other consorts
77 progeny
(32 sons and 44 daughters)
Rama VI Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramentharamaha
Vajiravudh
Phra Mongkut Klao Chao Yu Hua
(Rama VI)
1 January 1881
Inner Court, Grand Palace
23 October 1910
(crowned at the Phaisan Thaksin Hall on 11 November 1911)
25 November 1925
Chakraphat Phiman Hall
aged 44
Princess Consort Indrasakdi Sachi
Consort Sucharit Suda
Princess Consort Laksamilawan
Princess Consort Suvadhana
Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda
Rama VII Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramintharamaha
Prajadhipok
Phra Pok Klao Chao Yu Hua
(Rama VII)
8 November 1893
Chakri Maha Prasat Hall, Grand Palace
25 November 1925
(crowned at the Phaisan Thaksin Hall on 25 February 1926),
Abdicated the throne on 2 March 1935
30 May 1941
Compton House, in Wentworth, Virginia Water, Surrey, United Kingdom
aged 47
Queen Rambhai Barni (None)
Rama VIII Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramentharamaha
Ananda Mahidol
(Rama VIII)
20 September 1925
Heidelberg, Germany
2 March 1935
(never crowned),
Reign under Regency from 1935 to 1946
9 June 1946
Boromphiman Hall, Grand Palace
aged 20
(None) (None)
Rama IX Phrabat Somdet Phra Poramintharamaha
Bhumibol Adulyadej
(Rama IX)
5 December 1927
Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts
9 June 1946
(crowned at the Phaisan Thaksin Hall on 5 May 1950)
(Incumbent)
(age: 87 years, 14 days)
Queen Sirikit Ubolratana Rajakanya
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
Princess Sirindhorn
Princess Chulabhorn Walailak

Front Palaces[edit]

Main article: Front Palace

The Vice-King of Siam or the Krom Phrarajawang Bavorn Sathan Mongkol (กรมพระราชวังบวรสถานมงคล) was an office created during the Ayutthaya period. Until 1885 every Chakri king had a vice-king or (Maha Uparaja (มหาอุปราช), also often translated as Second King) who lived in the Front Palace (วังหน้า) (a palace complex to the north of the Grand Palace, now the site of the National Museum). Usually the younger brother of the monarch, the vice-king was designated heir to the throne, however only Prince Isarasundhorn was able to ascend the throne as King Buddha Loetla Nabhalai. The office was extremely prestigious and carried with it almost equal status to the king, this can be seen in Prince Chutamani (younger brother of King Mongkut), who was elevated to King Pinklao in 1851 (he carried with him the styles and titles of a King). The system was abolished by King Chulalongkorn when his vice-king and cousin Prince Bovorn Vichaicharn died. He then declared his oldest son the Crown Prince of Siam, but not vice-king.

Portrait Name Birth Start of reign
(Date of appointment)
End of reign Issue Monarch
(Relationship to the king)
Maha Sura Singhanat Somdet Phra Bawonratchao
Maha Sura Singhanat
1 November 1744
Ayutthaya
1782 3 November 1803
Bangkok
aged 59
43 sons and daughters with various consorts King Rama I
(Younger brother)
Rama II Somdet Phra Lookya Ther
Chaofa Krommaluang Isarasundhorn
24 February 1767
Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province
1806 7 September 1809
(Ascended the throne as King Rama II)
73 sons and daughters with various consorts King Rama I
(Oldest son)
House of Chakri Somdet Phra Bawonratchao
Maha Senanurak
29 March 1773 7 September 1809 16 July 1817
Bangkok
aged 45
40 sons and daughters with various consorts King Rama II
(Younger brother)
House of Chakri Somdet Phra Bawonratchao
Sakdiphonlasep
21 October 1785 21 July 1824 1 May 1832
Bangkok
aged 46
20 sons and daughters with various consorts King Rama III
(Great uncle, son of Rama I)
Pinklao Phrabat Somdet Phra
Pinklao Chaoyuhua
4 September 1808
Derm Palace, Thonburi
25 May 1851
(Received a royal coronation at the Front Palace)
7 January 1866
Derm Palace, Thonburi
aged 57
58 sons and daughters with various consorts King Rama IV
(Younger brother)
Wichaichan Krom Phra Ratchawang
Bowon Wichaichan
6 April 1838
Derm Palace, Thonburi
2 October 1868
(Appointed by the Ascension Council on behalf of King Rama V)
28 August 1885
Front Palace, Bangkok
aged 47
(Title abolished after death)
28 sons and daughters with various consorts King Rama V
(Cousin, son of Pinklao)

Rear Palace[edit]

Krom Phrarajawang Boworn Sathan Phimuk (กรมพระราชวังบวรสถานพิมุข) or the Rear Palace, was another office inherited from the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. However since the founding of the dynasty there has only been one rear palace. Prince Anurak Devesh was the nephew of King Buddha Yodfa Chualoke (his mother Princess Thepsuthavadi was the king's elder sister) was appointed to the office in 1785.

Portrait Name Birth Appointment Death Issue Monarch
(Relationship to the king)
Anurak Devesh Chaofa Krom Phra
Anurak Devesh
Krom Phra Rajawang Boworn Sathan Phimuk
28 March 1746 1785 20 December 1806
Bangkok
aged 60
(Title discontinued)
35 sons and daughters with various consorts King Rama I
(Nephew, son of Princess Sister Thepsuthavadi)

Crown Princes[edit]

The Crown Prince of Thailand or Sayam Makutrajakuman (สยามมกุฎราชกุมาร) is the designated and heir apparent to the throne and headship of the dynasty. The title was created in 1886 when King Chulalongkorn appointed his eldest son by Princess Consort Savang Vadhana, Prince Vajirunhis as Sayam Makutrajakuman. The title was copied directly from the Western tradition. Since then, there has only been three crown princes. The present crown prince is HRH Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn who was invested with the title in 1972. The succession is governed by the 1924 Palace Law of Succession passed by King Vajiravudh.

Portrait Name Birth Appointment Ceased to be Crown Prince Note Parents
Vajirunhis Maha Vajirunhis 27 June 1878
Inner Court, Grand Palace
14 January 1886 4 January 1895 Died of typhoid fever at age 16 King Rama V and Princess Consort Savang Vadhana
Vajiravudh Maha Vajiravudh 1 January 1881
Inner Court, Grand Palace
4 January 1895 23 October 1910 Ascended to the throne as King Rama VI at death of father King Rama V and Queen Saovabha Phongsri
Vajiralongkorn Maha Vajiralongkorn 28 July 1952
Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, Dusit Palace
28 December 1972 Incumbent Current heir apparent King Rama IX and Queen Sirikit

Royal consorts[edit]

Portrait Name Birth Marriage
(Reign as Queen)
Death Issue Consort to
(Notes)
Amarindra Somdet Phra Amarindra
Boromarajini
15 March 1737
Samut Songkhram Province
Around 1760
(6 April 1782 - 7 September 1809)
Until death of husband
25 May 1826
Bangkok
aged 89
10 sons and daughters, 5 surviving King Rama I
(Mother of Rama II)
Sri Suriyendra Somdet Phra Sri Suriyendra
Boromarajini
1767
Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province
21 September 1801
(7 September 1809 - 21 July 1824)
Until death of husband
18 October 1836
Derm Palace, Thonburi
aged 69
5 sons and daughters, 2 surviving King Rama II
(Mother of Rama IV)
Debsirindra Somdet Phra Debsirindra
Boromarajini
17 July 1834
Inner Court, Grand Palace
1 April 1851
(1 April 1851 – 9 September 1861)
Until death
9 September 1862
Inner Court, Grand Palace
aged 28
3 sons and 1 daughter, 3 surviving King Rama IV
(Mother of Rama V)
Saovabha Phongsri Somdet Phra Nangchao Saovabha Phongsri
Phra Boromarajininat
(Queen Regent)
1 January 1864
Inner Court, Grand Palace
1878
(1878 – 23 October 1910)
Until death of husband
20 October 1919
Phya Thai Palace, Bangkok
aged 56
7 sons and 2 daughters, 5 surviving King Rama V
(Mother of Rama VI and Rama VII)
Indrasakdi Sachi Somdet Phra Nangchao Indrasakdi Sachi
Phra Boromarajini
10 June 1902
Phasi Charoen District, Bangkok
1921
(1 January 1922 – 15 November 1925)
Demoted to the rank of Princess consort
30 November 1975
Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok
aged 73
(None) King Rama VI
Rambai Barni Somdet Phra Nangchao Rambai Barni
Phra Boromarajini
20 December 1904
Bangkok
25 August 1918
(25 November 1925 – 2 March 1935)
Husband's abdication
22 May 1984
Sukhothai Palace, Bangkok
aged 79
(None) King Rama VII
Sirikit Somdet Phra Nangchao Sirikit
Phra Boromarajininat
(Queen Regent)
12 August 1932
Pathum Wan District, Bangkok
28 April 1950
(9 June 1946 – present)
Husband's accession until present
(Incumbent)
(age: 82 years, 129 days)
Ubolratana Rajakanya
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
Princess Sirindhorn
Princess Chulabhorn Walailak
King Rama IX

Regents[edit]

The Regent of Thailand (ผู้สำเร็จราชการแทนพระองค์) as stated in the Constitution of Thailand is appointed either by the monarch himself or by the Privy Council of Thailand, the appointment must be countersigned by the President of the National Assembly of Thailand. The circumstances for appointment of a regent in the constitution is unclear it states that a regent can be appointed : "Whenever the king is absent from the kingdom or unable to perform His functions for any reason whatsoever" (Chapter 2, Section 18). So far a regent has only been appointed when the monarch has been in minority, when the monarch takes a foreign trip and when the monarch enters the Sangha as a monk. A regent can be either a commoner or a member of the royal family depending on the circumstances.

List of regents[edit]

During the Fifith Reign (Chulalongkorn)

  • Somdet Chao Phraya Si Suriyawongse (1868–1873): until King Chulalongkorn reached his majority (20 years old)
  • Queen Regent Saovabha (1897): while King Chulalongkorn traveled to Europe in his First Grand Tour in 1897
  • Crown Prince Maha Vajiravudh (1907): while King Chulalongkorn traveled to Europe in his Second Grand Tour in 1907

During the Seventh Reign (Prajadhipok)

During the Eighth Reign (Ananda Mahidol): While the king was a minor and in Switzerland, a Regency Council of three was established, it was composed of:

  • Prince Oscar Anuvatana (1935)
  • Prince Athitaya Dibhabha (1935–1944)
  • Chao Phraya Yomarath (Pan Sukhum) (1935–1938)
    • General Chao Phraya Phit Yenthornyothin (Um Inthornyothin) (August 1935– 1942): appointed to replace Prince Oscar after his death, he himself later died in office (was then not replaced).
    • Dr. Pridi Banomyong (1941–1946): appointed to replace Chao Phraya Yomarath, after the resignation of Prince Athitaya became the sole regent, until the return of the king in 1946.

During the Ninth Reign (present):Before the King's coronation, a regency council composed entirely of the privy council was appointed as regent:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Royal house
Chakri Dynasty
Founding year: 1782
Preceded by
Thonburi Kingdom
Ruling Dynasty of the
Kingdom of Thailand (Siam)

6 April 1782–
Incumbent