|Princess of Siam (later Thailand)
Princess of Bejraburi
16 April 1884|
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Siam
|Died||15 February 1938
Kandhavas Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
Valaya Alongkorn, 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 king rama XI King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Princess Valaya Alongkorn was born on 16 April 1884 at Grand Palace. She was the 43rd daughter of King Chulalongkorn, and the 5th child of Queen Savang Vadhana, queen consort and half-sister 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:
- Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis of Siam (27 June 1878 – 4 January 1894)
- Prince Isariyalongkorn (4 September 1879 – 25 September 1879)
- Princess Vichitra Chiraprabha (21 April 1881 – 15 August 1881)
- Prince Sommutivongse Varodaya, the Prince of Nakhon Si Thammarat (9 June 1882 – 17 June 1899)
- Princess Sirabhorn Sobhon (19 July 1888 – 24 May 1898)
- Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla, (posthumously The Prince Father of Thailand; 1 January 1891 – 24 September 1929) father of Princess Galyani Vadhana, King Rama VIII, and King Rama IX.
When she was 3, her mother gave her to her mother's sister, Queen Saovabha Phongsri 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.
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 on 23 October 1910. She then moved to Queen Saovabha Phongsri at Phayathai Palace.
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.
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 Bejraburi" (Krom Luang Bejraburi Rajasirindhorn (Thai: กรมหลวงเพชรบุรีราชสิรินธร)). She was given the rank of Krom Luang, the 3rd level of the Krom ranks.
After the death of Queen Saovabha Phongsri 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.
Titles and Styles
Princess of Thailand
|Reference style||Her Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
- Her Royal Highness Princess Valaya Alongkorn (16 April 1884 — 11 November 1911)
- Her Royal Highness Princess Valaya Alongkorn, Princess of Bejraburi (11 November 1911 — 15 February 1938)
- Dame of The Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems
- Dame of The Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri: received 7 February 1893
- Dame Cross of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao (First class): received 26 November 1893
- King Rama V Royal Cypher Medal
- King Rama VI Royal Cypher Medal
- King Rama VII Royal Cypher Medal
- King Rama VIII Royal Cypher Medal
|Ancestors of Valaya Alongkorn|
- Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University
- Royal command of giving title HRH Princess Valaya Alongkorn, the Princess of Phetchaburi
- HRH Krom Luang Phetchaburi Rajasirindhorn
- HRH Princess Valaya Alongkorn - Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University
- HRH Princess Valaya Alongkorn, the Princess of Phetchaburi - Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University