Sunanda Kumariratana

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Sunanda Kumariratana
Queen Sunandha of Siam.jpg
Queen consort of Thailand
Tenure1877 – 31 May 1880
Born(1860-11-10)10 November 1860
Bangkok, Siam
Died31 May 1880(1880-05-31) (aged 19)
Pak Kret, Nonthaburi, Siam
SpouseChulalongkorn (Rama V)
IssueKannabhorn Bejaratana
Sunanda Kumariratana
HouseChakri Dynasty
FatherMongkut (Rama IV)
MotherPiam Sucharitakul

Sunanda Kumariratana[1] (Thai: สุนันทากุมารีรัตน์; RTGSSunantha Kumarirat, 10 November 1860 – 31 May 1880) was a queen consort of Siam.[2] She was well-known as "The Wrecked Queen".[2]


She was a daughter and fiftieth child of Siamese King Mongkut (Rama IV) and Princess Consort Piam.[3] She was the half-sister and first wife of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Siam (now Thailand).[3] The kings's other two wives were her younger sisters, Queen Savang Vadhana and Queen Saovabha Bhongsi.[3]

The queen and her daughter Kannabhorn Bejaratana drowned when the steam boat Marawan collided with their royal boat towed by the steam yacht Pan Marut on the way to the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace (Summer Palace).[3]

There is an often repeated myth that the many witnesses to the accident did not dare to touch the queen, a capital offense—not even to save her life. However, this was not the case; the King's diary records that boatmen dived into the water, pulled the queen and her daughter from the entangling curtains, and carried them to another boat, where attendants worked in vain to resuscitate them.[4] No one else died in the accident.[3]


The grief-stricken Chulalongkorn demanded a resplendent funeral for them. Preparations for the funeral took 10 months and the funeral ceremony did not begin until March 10, 1881. The bodies of the queen and princess were dried with injections of quicksilver and stored in golden urns while precious woods were collected for the construction of a funeral pyre; royal facilities where the king and entourage resided during the cremation ceremonies were also constructed in a location referred to as Pra Mane. The funeral pyre was reported to be 280 feet (85 m) tall and was built over an altar where the urns were placed for cremation.[3]

The proceedings and celebrations were opulent, attended by many, and documented in great detail. Chulalongkorn lit the funeral pyre around 6PM on March 15 to the sound of horns, and the pyre burned throughout the night.[3] Celebrations ended on March 20 with a procession to the Grand Palace.[3]



  1. ^ Finestone, Jeffrey. The Royal Family of Thailand: The Descendants of King Chulalongkorn. Bangkok : Phitsanulok Publishing, 1989, p. 64
  2. ^ a b "ย้อนรอยโศกนาฏกรรม ตำนานเรื่องเล่าของ "สมเด็จพระนางเรือล่ม" อัครมเหสีในรัชกาลที่ 5" [Retrace the tragedy, Legend of "Wrecked Queen," the queen consort of King Rama V]. Art & Culture Magazine (in Thai). 2020-11-28. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h indochinoise, Société académique (1882). Bulletin de la Société académique indochinoise de France (in French).
  4. ^ The Palace Law of Ayutthaya and the Thammasat: Law and Kingship in Siam. APD SINGAPORE PTE. LTD. 2016. p. 63. ISBN 9780877277699.

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