Valaya Alongkorn

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Valaya Alongkorn
Princess of Siam
the Princess of Bejraburi
HRH Princess Valaya Alongkorn.jpg
Full name
Valaya Alongkorn Narindorn Debayakumari
House Chakri Dynasty
Father Chulalongkorn
Mother Savang Vadhana
Born (1884-04-16)16 April 1884
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Siam
Died 15 February 1938(1938-02-15) (aged 53)
Kandhavas Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Valaya Alongkorn, the Princess of Bejraburi (Thai: วไลยอลงกรณ์; RTGS: Walai Alongkon; 16 April 1884 – 15 February 1938), was the Princess of Siam (later Thailand. She was a member of the Siamese Royal Family. Her father was Chulalongkorn, King Rama V of Siam and Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis was her older brother. She was the elder sister of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla. So she was an aunt of the then current King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Birth[edit]

Princess Valaya Alongkorn was born in 16 April 1884 at Grand Palace. She was the 43rd daughter of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V the Great), and the 5th child of Queen Savang Vadhana, queen consort and cousin of King Chulalongkorn, (later Queen Sri Savarindira). Her full given name was Valaya Alongkorn Narindorn Debyakumari (Thai: วไลยอลงกรณ์ นรินทรเทพยกุมารี), from her father. She had 6 siblings, 3 elder brothers, 1 elder sister, 1 younger sister, and 1 younger brother:

When she was 3, her mother gave her to her mother's sister, Queen Saovabha Bongsri to be her adopted daughter because Queen Saovabha had lost her own 2 daughters: Princess Bahurada Manimaya, and the princess who died after birth. They lived together in Suddha Sri Abhiromya Throne Hall, in the compound of the Grand Palace.

Childhood[edit]

When she was young, the princess was educated at Kumari Royal School, which established in Amarindra Vinitchai Throne Hall, in the compound of the Grand Palace. When her father, King Chulalongkorn, visited southern Asia in 1896, she followed her father while visiting Java, Singapore, and Malayu with the other princesses. After her father finished the 1st Europe tour, he built the Dusit Palace and the other throne hall and palaces in the compound, including Vimanmek Palace. So she moved to live with her father, her mother, and her step-siblings (including her father's noble consort Chao Chom Manda. At the time she was only 17.

When the Four Seasons Garden Villa or Suan Si Ruedu was built completely, she moved to this villa until her father's death in 23 October 1910. She then moved to Queen Saovabha Bongsri at Phayathai Palace.

Lifestyle[edit]

Princess Valaya Alongkorn liked reading. She read books in her spare time, all day and night, ever since her childhood. Once, her nanny hid her books to make her sleep. But it did not work, she searched for other books in her private library to read. If she did not had any royal duties, she always did reading or writing, every afternoon. She also knitted and did other activities, like draught.

She always dressed in European style. She did not like decorations for her dresses, except pearl necklaces, which she made herself. When she went anywhere, she had her pearl necklace.

Royal duties[edit]

Princess Alongkorn put a lot of importance on the education of Thai women. She was the patron of Rajini School, and established the other all-girls school, Rajini Bon School. She gave her own money to the Ministry of Education to build Vittayalongkorn Educational College (later Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University, Pathum Thani Province).

She was the close half-sister of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), when he succeeded the throne from King Chulalongkorn. She welcomed Royal guests from foreign countries, including the Royal families from the countries which came to join the coronation ceremony, because of her English.

When King Vajiravudh died in 1925, his younger brother, Prince Prajadhipok Sakdidej, the Prince of Sukhothai succeeded the throne from his elder brother as King Rama VII. He requested the princess, designing the dress of Princess Rambhai Barni for the coronation ceremony as the queen-to-be. The dress she designed was in the European style, was very beautiful and fascinating in the coronation ceremony. The dress made Queen Rambhai Barni the biggest attraction in the ceremony.

On 11 November 1911, King Vajiravudh gave her the royal title of "The Princess of Phetchaburi" (Krom Luang Phetchaburi Rajasirindhorn (Thai: กรมหลวงเพชรบุรีราชสิรินธร)). She was given the rank of Krom Luang, the 3rd level of the Krom ranks.

Later life[edit]

Princess Valaya Alongkorn with her mother, Queen Sri Savarindira and Prince Mahidol Adulyadej

After the death of Queen Saovabha Bongsri on 20 October 1919 she moved from Phayathai Palace to Suan Sunandha Royal Villa, in the compound of Dusit Palace. One year later, she contracted a lung disease. She received treatment in Europe, and then moved to live in Srapathum Palace with Queen Savang Vadhana. She continued to have the treatment her entire later life. She finally died on 15 February 1938 from lung cancer, at the age of 53.

Her body was laid in Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Grand Palace. That time, the government did not have enough money to build her Royal Crematorium in Sanam Luang. So King Ananda Mahidol and Queen Sri Savarindira, the Queen Grandmother gave their own properties, sharing them with the government's properties. The Royal Crematorium was completely built at last. The Royal Cremation ceremony took place on 14 May 1941. Queen Sri Savarindira was represented b King Ananda Mahidol, performing the royal cremation with the other members of the Royal family.

Later, King Anada Mahidol changed her royal status from Somdet Phra Chao Boromwongse Ther to Somdet Phra Ratcha Pitucha (literally: "the Princess Aunt"), as the aunt of the King.

Royal decorations[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]