Saovabha Phongsri

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Saovabha Phongsri
Queen Regent of Siam
Queen Saovabha Phongsri.jpg
Queen consort of Siam
Tenure 1878 – 23 October 1910
Born (1861-01-01)1 January 1861
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Siam
Died 20 October 1919(1919-10-20) (aged 58)
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Siam
Spouse Chulalongkorn
Issue Princess Bahurada Manimaya
King Vajiravudh
Prince Tribejrutama Dhamrong
Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath
Prince Siriraj Kakudhabhand
Prince Asdang Dejavudh
Prince Chudadhut Dharadilok
King Prajadhipok
House Chakri Dynasty
Father Mongkut
Mother Piam Sucharitakul

Queen Saovabha Phongsri (Thai: เสาวภาผ่องศรี; RTGS: Saowapha Phongsi (Pronunciation)) was an agnatic half-sister and queen of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Thailand, and mother of both King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) and King Prajadhipok (Rama VII). As in accordance with Thai royal tradition, King Vajiravudh later bestowed on his mother the title of "Queen Mother Sri Bajrindra" (Thai: ศรีพัชรินทร; rtgsSi Phatcharin).


Saovabha was born as a Princess of Siam to King Mongkut (or Rama IV) and Princess Consort Piyamavadi (Piam Sucharitakul). She was the youngest sister of the future Queen Sunandha Kumariratana and Queen Savang Vadhana. Saovabha became the consort of her half brother King Chulalongkorn sometime in 1878. She gave him 9 children, 5 would survive to adulthood (one died in infancy), two would eventually become King of Siam.

In 1897, Queen Saovabha became the first female Regent of Siam, when her husband went on a tour of Europe. When he returned he bestowed upon her the title of "Somdet Phra Nang Chao Saowapha Phongsi Praborommarachininat" (RTGS) (Thai: สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าเสาวภาผ่องศรี พระบรมราชินีนาถ) (roughly equivalent to H.M. the Queen Regent). During her time as queen she took many interests especially in the issues concerning women. In 1904 she established one of the first schools for girls in Siam; the "Rajini School" or Queen's School in Bangkok.

When she died in 1919 at the age of 57, she was given a grand Royal Funeral, attended by all members of the Siamese Royal Family, and the ceremony was presided over by her son King Vajiravudh. She played a prominent posthumous role in the 1924 Palace Law of Succession, in which her son King Vajiravudh stipulated that her children would take precedent among all others over the line of succession. This guaranteed the accession of her youngest son Prince Prajadhipok to the throne in 1925, despite there being more senior and learned sons of Chulalongkorn. The Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute was named after her.


She had 9 children with King Chulalongkorn:

Name Birth Death Spouse Children
Bahurada Manimaya, Princess Debanariratana 19 December 1878 27 August 1887
Vajiravudh 1 January 1880 25 November 1925 Prabai Sucharitakul None
Princess Vannabimol Varavan None
Prueng Sucharitakul None
Krueakaew Abhaiwongse Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda
Prince Tribejrutama Dhamrong 8 February 1881 22 November 1887
Chakrabongse Bhuvanath, Prince of Bisnulok 3 March 1883 13 June 1920 Ekaterina Ivanovna Desnitskaya Prince Chula Chakrabongse
Princess Javalit Obhas Rabibadhana None
Prince Siriraj Kakudhabhanda 27 November 1885 3 May 1887
Princess (Unname) 13 December 1884 13 December 1884
Asdang Dejavudh, Prince of Nakhon Rajasima 12 May 1889 9 February 1924 Paew Suddhiburana None
Chudadhuj Dharadilok, Prince of Bejraburana 5 July 1892 8 July 1923 La-or Sirisambandh Princess Sudasiri Sobha
Ravi Kayananda Prince Varananda Dhavaj
Princess Bunchiradhorn Jumbala None
Prajadhipok 8 November 1893 30 May 1941 Princess Rambai Barni Svastivatana None

In addition, the queen also adobted one of Savang Vadhana's daughters, Princess Valaya Alongkorn and raised as her own daughter.

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
Queen Saovabha of Siam
Standard of the Queen of Siam.svg
Reference style Her Royal Majesty
Spoken style Your Royal Majesty
Alternative style Madame
  • 1864 – 1869: Her Royal Highness Princess Saovabha Phongsri
  • 1869 – 1878: Her Royal Highness Princess Saovabha Phongsri, the Princess Sister
  • 1878 – 1879: Her Royal Highness Princess Saovabha Phongsri, the King's Consort
  • 1879 – 1880: Her Royal Highness Princess Saovabha Phongsri, the Princess Consort (lower class)
  • 1880 – 1894: Her Royal Highness Princess Saovabha Phongsri, the Princess Consort (upper class)
  • 1894 – 1897: Her Majesty Queen Saovabha Phongsri, the Royal Consort
  • 1897 – 1910: Her Majesty Queen Saovabha Phongsri, the Queen Regent
  • 1910 – 1919: Her Majesty Queen Regent Saovabha Phongsri, the Queen Mother

Royal Decorations[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Saovabha Phongsri
Born: 1 January 1864 Died: 20 October 1919
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Rambery Siriwongse
Queen Consort of Siam
Succeeded by
Prabai Sucharitakul