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 of 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).


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

Other Members[edit]

Alive Former Members[edit]

  • HH Princess Induratana (daughter of the Prince of Nakhonsawan)
  • 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]

List of Chakri Kings[edit]

Reign Monarch Reign Starts Reign ends Portrait
First Reign
Buddha Yodfa Chulalok the Great (Rama I)
6 April 1782
7 September 1809
Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke portrait.jpg
Second Reign
Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II)
7 September 1809
21 July 1824
Buddha Loetla Nabhalai portrait.jpg
Third Reign
Nangklao (Rama III)
21 July 1824
2 April 1851
Nangklao portrait.jpg
Fourth Reign
Mongkut (Rama IV)
3 April 1851
1 October 1868
Rama4 portrait (cropped).jpg
Fifth Reign
Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V)
พระบาทสมเด็จพระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว "พระปิยมหาราช"
2 October 1868
23 October 1910
King Chulalongkorn.jpg
Sixth Reign
Vajiravudh (Rama VI)
23 October 1910
26 November 1925
King Vajiravudh.jpg
Seventh Reign
Prajadhipok (Rama VII)
26 November 1925
2 March 1935
Prajadhipok portrait.jpg
Eighth Reign
Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII)
พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรเมนทรมหาอานันทมหิดล พระอัฐมรามาธิบดินทร
2 March 1935
9 June 1946
Ananda Mahidol portrait.jpg
Ninth Reign
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great (Rama IX)
พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช "พระภัทรมหาราช"
9 June 1946
Bhumibol Adulyadej portrait.jpg

List of Chakri Queens[edit]

Reign Monarch Reign Starts Reign ends Portrait
First Reign
6 April 1782
7 September 1809
HM Queen Amarindra.jpg
Second Reign
Sri Suriyendra
7 September 1809
21 July 1824
Queen Sri Suriyendra.jpg
Fourth Reign
1 April 1851
1 October 1868
Queen Debsirindra.jpg
Fifth Reign
Saovabha Bongsri
สมเด็จพระศรีพัชรินทราบรมราชินีนาถ พระบรมราชชนนีพันปีหลวง
23 October 1910
Queen Saovabha Phongsri.jpg
Sixth Reign
Indrasakdi Sachi
สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าอินทรศักดิศจี พระวรราชชายา
10 August 1924
1 January 1922
HM Queen Indrasakdi Sachi.jpg
Seventh Reign
Rambhai Barni
สมเด็จพระนางเจ้ารำไพพรรณี พระบรมราชินี
26 November 1925
2 March 1935
Queen Rambhai Barni2.jpg
Ninth Reign
สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ
9 June 1946
Anefo 911-6994 Aankomst Koning.jpg


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.

List of Chakri Vice-Kings[edit]

Monarch Vice King Reign Starts Reign ends
First Reign
Prince Maha Sura Singhanat
First Reign
Prince Isarasundhorn (Rama II)
Second Reign
Prince Maha Senanurak
Third Reign
Prince Maha Sakdi Polsep
Fourth Reign
King Pinklao
Fifth Reign
Prince Bovorn Vichaichan

Deputy vice king[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.

Monarch Deputy Vice King Reign Starts Reign ends
First Reign
Prince Anurak Devesh
สมเด็จเจ้าฟ้ากรมพระอนุรักษ์เทเวศร์ กรมพระราชวังบวรสถานพิมุข

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.

List of Crown Princes[edit]

Monarch Crown Prince Tenure Starts Tenure ends
Fifth Reign
Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis
สมเด็จพระบรมโอรสาธิราช เจ้าฟ้ามหาวชิรุณหิศ สยามมกุฎราชกุมาร
(died before he could succeed)
Fifth Reign
Crown Prince Maha Vajiravudh (later King Rama VI)
สมเด็จพระบรมโอรสาธิราช เจ้าฟ้ามหาวชิราวุธ สยามมกุฎราชกุมาร (รัชกาลที่ 6)
Ninth Reign
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
สมเด็จพระบรมโอรสาธิราช เจ้าฟ้ามหาวชิราลงกรณ สยามมกุฎราชกุมาร


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]


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–