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Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
Princess of Thailand
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn 2010-12-7 cropped1.jpg
Princess Sirindhorn in 2010
House House of Mahidol
Chakri Dynasty
Father King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
Mother Queen Sirikit
Born (1955-04-02) 2 April 1955 (age 60)
Bangkok, Thailand
Religion Buddhism

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Thai: มหาจักรีสิรินธร, Thai pronunciation: [má.hǎː .ʨàk.krīː.sì.rīn.tʰɔːn]; rtgsMaha Chakkri Sirinthon; born 2 April 1955) is the second daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.[1]

Her full ceremonial title is Somdech Phra Debaratanarajasuda Chao Fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Rathasimagunakornpiyajat Sayamboromrajakumari[2] (สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา เจ้าฟ้ามหาจักรีสิรินธร รัฐสีมาคุณากรปิยชาติ สยามบรมราชกุมารี; rtgsSomdet Phra Theppha Rat Rat Suda Chao Fa Maha Chakkri Sirinthon Rattha Sima Khuna Kon Piya Chat Sayam Boromma Ratcha Kumari), which was bestowed upon her on 5 December 1977. Thais commonly refer to her by reducing such title to "Phra Thep", meaning "princess angel". Her title in Thai is the female equivalent of the title held by her brother, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.[3] The Thai constitution was altered in 1974 to allow for female succession, thus making her eligible for the throne.[4]

As the eldest female child of the royal family (excluding Ubol Ratana, who married a foreign commoner), her position is comparable to a princess royal.[5]


Sirindhorn was born on 2 April 1955, the third child of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit. As the royal couple has only one son, the Thai constitution was altered in 1974 to allow for female succession. This made Sirindhorn second-in-line to the throne (after Vajiralongkorn) until the birth of Princess Bajrakitiyabha in 1978. Air Chief Marshall Siddhi Savetsila, a member of the privy council, told a former U.S. ambassador in early 2010 that Sirindhorn could be named successor in the event of Vajiralongkorn's death, i.e., the crown prince's children, including Prince Dipangkorn, might be passed over.[6] The privy council will submit the name of a successor when the throne becomes vacant.[7]

In December 2012, Sirindhorn was briefly hospitalised to remove calcium deposits.[8]


Sirindhorn attended kindergarten to upper secondary levels at Chitralada School. She ranked first [clarification needed] in the National School Examinations in the primary level (grade 7) in 1967, first in upper secondary level (grade 12) in 1972 and fourth in the National University Entrance Examination.[citation needed]

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History (First Class Honor, Gold Medal) from Chulalongkorn University in 1976, and a Master of Arts in Oriental Epigraphy (Sanskrit and Cambodian) from Silpakorn University in 1978 for her thesis, The Inscriptions Found at Prasad Bnam Run (Prasat Phnom Rung). She earned a Master of Arts in Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University in 1980 for her thesis, Dasapāramī in Theravada Buddhism.[citation needed]

She was awarded a PhD in educational development from Srinakharinwirot University in 1986 for her thesis, Development of an Innovative Design for the Instruction of Thai Language at the Upper Secondary School Level.[citation needed]

Works and interests[edit]

Aside from her passion for technology, she holds degrees in history and a doctorate in educational development. She teaches at the history department of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, where she is the nominal head of the department. In addition to Thai, she speaks fluent English, French, and Chinese and is currently studying German and Latin.[citation needed]



As part of the royal family, she received many awards and recognition, most of which are honorary, including:

Year Award Awarder
1991 The Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service[9]
2000 Chinese Language and Culture Friendship Award
2001 Understanding and Friendship International Literature Award Chinese Literature Foundation of Chinese Writers Association
2004 Indira Gandhi Prize
2004 International Education Leadership Award The Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Honorary degrees[edit]

Year Field Academy
1981 Thai Chiang Mai University
1989 Geography Chiang Mai University
1991 Chinese Studies of Humane Letters Thammasat University
1991 Agriculture Prince of Songkla University
1991 Agriculture Khon Kaen University
1997 Botany Chiang Mai University
2001 Chinese Peking University
2000 Pharmacy Srinakharinwirot University
2001 Information Technology Burapha University
2002 Doctor of Letters (DLitt) The University of Hong Kong
2002 Rural Technology Thammasat University
2002 Public Health Burapha University
2003 Chinese Burapha University
2004 Humane Letters Bay Path College
2004 Regional Development Strategies Ubon Ratchathani University
2005 Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) Johns Hopkins University[10]
2005 Environmental Science Thammasat University
2007 Veterinary Medicine Chulalongkorn University
2009 Physics Suranaree University of Technology
2009 Laws University of the Philippines Los Baños[11]
2010 Humane Letters Indiana University

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has accepted the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador title for the "Empowerment of Minority Children through Education and through the Preservation of Their Intangible Cultural Heritage." UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura conferred this title on 24 March 2005.[citation needed]

Institutions associated with the Princess[edit]

Because of her interest in foreign cultures, technology, conservation and education, there are a number of academic and research institutions in Thailand which have been granted permission to use her name, such as


The University of Liverpool introduced a prestigious new scholarship in honour of Sirindhorn. One full scholarship will be awarded annually to enable a Thai student to study at Liverpool to complete a one-year taught Masters programme. The scholarship is open to all subjects offered a one-year taught Masters programme, however priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, information technology, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be a Thai national and already hold an offer to study a one-year taught Masters programme at the University of Liverpool.[citation needed]

Place names[edit]


Several fauna species are named after her, including:

Numerous plant species also have been named after her, including the Sirindhornia spp. (Orchids):

Other plant species includes

Titles and styles[edit]

Royal cypher of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
Styles of
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand
Female Royalty's Standard of Thailand.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
Royal Flag of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
  • 2 April 1955 – 5 December 1977: Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn Debaratanasuda
  • 5 December 1977 – : Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

The Princess's style and title in full: Somdech Phra Debaratanarajasuda Chao Fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Rathasimagunakornpiyajat Sayamboromrajakumari (สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา เจ้าฟ้ามหาจักรีสิรินธร รัฐสีมาคุณากรปิยชาติ สยามบรมราชกุมารี; rtgsSomdet Phra Theppha Rat Ratcha Suda, Chao Fa Maha Chakkri Sirinthon, Ratta Sima Khunakon Piya Chat, Sayam Boromma Ratcha Kumari). The title Sayam Boromma Ratcha Kumari is comparable to the British title of The Princess Royal.[citation needed]


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Biography of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn"
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Backman, Michael, "Thai riches hinged on wise king's prodigal son" The Age, 28 June 2006.
  4. ^ Kershaw, Roger (2001), Monarchy in South East Asia: The faces of tradition in transition, Routledge, p. 153 
  5. ^ McCargo, Duncan (2010), "Thailand", Regional Oulook: Southeast Asia 2010-2011 (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies): 55 
  6. ^ Watkins, Mary, P00144feabdc0.html#ixzz18VY4x1YT Cables breach taboo on Thai royal family" Financial Times, 16 December 2010.
  7. ^ Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Chapter2: Section 23 (Succession)
  8. ^ "Princess Sirindhorn levaes hospital". Bangkok Post. 2012-12-27. Retrieved 20 Sep 2014. 
  9. ^ The 1991 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service
  10. ^ "JHU Honorary Degrees Awarded". Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  11. ^ The University of the Philippines conferred an honoris causa L.L.D. for her achievements as a global leader in sustaining rural and agricultural development and in promoting education and science to improve the lives of farming communities in Asia and the world.
  12. ^ Sirindhorn Observatory
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1124. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  16. ^
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  20. ^
  21. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  22. ^
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Born: 2 April 1955
Thai royalty
Preceded by
Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana
Line of succession to the Thai throne
5th position
Succeeded by
Princess Chulabhorn Walailak
Order of precedence
Preceded by
The Crown Prince
The Princess Royal
4th position
Succeeded by
Princess Chulabhorn Walailak