|Prince of Siam
Prince Devavongse Varopakarn
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|In office||12 June 1885 – 28 June 1923|
27 November 1858|
|Died||28 June 1923
|Issue||48 sons and daughters|
|Father||Mongkut (Rama IV)|
Devan Uthayavongse, Prince Devavongse Varopakarn (Thai: พระองค์เจ้าเทวัญอุไทยวงศ์ กรมพระยาเทวะวงศ์วโรปการ) 27 November 1858 – 28 June 1923) is Siamese prince and diplomat during the reign of Rama V and Rama VI.
Born as son of King Mongkut and Princess Consort Piam with the given name Prince Devan Uthayavongse (เทวัญอุไทยวงศ์; rtgs: Thewan-u-thaiwong), he had the same parents as the 3 queens of King Chulalongkorn, Queen Sunandha Kumariratana, Queen Savang Vadhana and Queen Saovabha Bhongsi. HRH Prince Devavongse Varopakarn was the 42nd child of Kng Mongkut's 82 children.
HRH Prince Devavongse Varoprakarn was born in Bangkok's Grand Palace on Noverber 27, 1858 to King Mongkut (or Rama IV) and Princess Consort Piyamavadi (Piam Sucharitakul). He was their second child and their second son of the total 6 children which were
- Prince Unakan Ananta Norajaya
- Prince Devan Uthayawongse (Later Prince Devavongse Varopakarn)
- Princess Sunandha Kumariratana (Later Queen Sunandha Kumariratana)
- Princess Savang Vadhana (Later Queen Sri Savarindira, the Queen Grandmother)
- Princess Saovabha Bongsi (Later Queen Sri Bajarindra, the Queen Mother)
- Prince Svasti Sobhana (Later Prince Svastivatana Visishta).
As a child, he had studied both Thai literature then ordained and later studied English course in the Grand Palace. He first worked in the royal court of King Chulalongkorn (or Rama V) as an officer in the royal audit office, at the age of 17. He was promoted to be the HM the King's private secretary (foreign affairs) then be the HM the King's Principal private secretary, as well the director of the comptroller general. Moreover, he was bestowed the royal nobility title of Krom Muean Devavongse Varopakarn in 1881.
At the age of 27, when Chao Phraya Phanuwongse Mahakosa Thobodi (Tuam Bunnag) had resigned, he was promoted to be the minister of foreign affairs, which the modern diplomatic methods and policies were established. He had asked HM the King's permission to settle the permanent office of the ministry and the permanent embassies abroad, first in London then Paris. Later, he was bestowed the royal title of Krom Luang Devavongse Varopakarn in 1886.
As the Siamese HM the King's delegate to the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, he had visited many countries and observed the administrative patterns and methods of each country. As the result, the Siamese royal court was evolved since then as the modern royal administrative system was set with 12 formal ministries in 1892. In the international relation and politics, he had played the major role in every incidents during that time including all the treaties with many countries and the French Indochina-Siamese conflict; as well the domestic issues and issues involving the royal court. King Rama V informally called Prince Devan as his "right hand".
During the reign of King Vajiravudh (or Rama VI), who was the royal child of his parental sister, he was delegated to work as the Head of HM the King's royal administration (Prime Minister) and be bestowed the title of Krom Phra Devavongse Varopakarn, in 1911. He was also delegated many positions of the royal court of King Rama VI such as the chairman of the minister council.
Later in 1916, he was, the first-ever prince of Siam who was not born to the Queen but, bestowed the royal title of Somdet Krom Phraya Devavongse Varopakarn, which the rank of Somdet Krom Phraya is the highest rank for the prince who works in the Siamese royal court and normally preserved for Chao Fa (royal children born to the Queen) or HRH Prince Supreme Patriarch only.
At the age of 64, Varopakarn died due to septicemia from carbuncle (abscess) at his residence on June 28, 1923, during the reign of King Rama VI, his nephew.
Institute of Foreign Affairs
The Institute of Foreign Affairs of the kingdom bears the name of the former minister and is supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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