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|Princess of Thailand|
Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit
|Born||November 20, 1920|
|Died||February 16, 1977 (aged 56)|
Surat Thani Province, Thailand
Prince Piyarangsit Rangsit
(m. 1946; died 1977)
|House||Rajani family (by birth)|
Rangsit family (by marriage)
|Father||Rajani Chamcharas, Prince Bidyalongkorn|
Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit (Thai: วิภาวดีรังสิต; RTGS: Wiphawadi Rangsit; 20 November 1920 – 16 February 1977), née Princess Vibhavadi Rajani (Thai: วิภาวดี รัชนี; RTGS: Wiphawadi Ratchani) is a Thai writer and a member of the Thai royal family well known for her fiction writing and her developmental work in rural Thailand.
She was killed by communist insurgents while on a routine visit to assist rural villagers in Surat Thani Province.
Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit was born on 20 November 1920. She is the eldest daughter of Rajani Chamcharas, Prince Bidyalongkorn and Princess Phonphimonphan Rajani (née Princess Phimonphan Voravan). She had a sibling, Prince Bhisadej Rajani.
The princess was educated at the Mater Dei School, Bangkok. After completing her secondary education, she worked as a secretary for her father, who at the time was one of the most respected poets of the Rattanakosin era and wrote under the pseudonym No. Mo. So. (NMS; นมส.). Princess Vibhavadi inherited her father's gift for writing and displayed her ability as early as age of fourteen, when she began writing children's novels. She was well known by her pen-name V. na Pramuanmarg (ว. ณ ประมวญมารค Wo Na Pramuanmak). Her famous first novel, Prisana (ปริศนา Pritsana), was written when she was eighteen and was followed by two sequels and many other novels, some of them historical.
Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit married Prince Piyarangsit Rangsit (ปิยะรังสิต รังสิต), eldest son of Rangsit Prayurasakdi, Prince of Chainat and Elisabeth Scharnberger, on 6 May 1946. They were the only couple married by King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII). She had two daughters:
- Mom Rajawongse Vibhananda Rangsit (วิภานันท์ รังสิต Wiphanan Rangsit)
- Mom Rajawongse Priyanandana Rangsit (ปริยนันทนา รังสิต Priyananthana Rangsit)
In addition to a full writing career, the princess worked for King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand. In 1957, she began accompanying them when they toured the country and was appointed a lady-in-waiting to the queen when they went on their first state visit abroad in 1960. Princess Vibhavadi accompanied them on seven occasions, visiting twenty-five countries.
The last ten years of her life were dedicated to rural development in southern Thailand under the direction and sponsorship of the king. Her involvement began when the monarch asked her to go to a remote area called Phrasaeng in Surat Thani Province. From that initial visit in 1967, she was committed to the development of neglected areas and the improvement of the villagers' living standards. Sponsored by the king, she led a medical team on many missions to distribute medical supplies, schooling equipment, blankets, and other necessities to villagers in remote and almost inaccessible parts of the South.
Princess Vibavadi often visited soldiers and Border Patrol Police stationed in areas where there was communist insurgency. On the morning of 16 February 1977, she set off on what should have been a routine visit to villages and to boost the morale of troops at Wiang Sa District, Surat Thani. While flying to her destination in an army helicopter, she heard a radio message saying two Border Patrol Policemen had been wounded by a landmine. She immediately ordered the flight diverted to pick up the wounded men and rush them to a hospital. As they flew at low altitude over Ban Nua Khlong, the helicopter was attacked from the ground by communist insurgents. A burst of heavy machine gun fire crippled the helicopter and seriously wounded the princess. She died one hour later.
Prior to her royally sponsored cremation at Ratchabophit Temple, on 4 April 1977, "in recognition of her services to the country and the people", the king elevated her to the higher royal rank of Phra Chao Worawongse Ther Phra Ong Chao (Her Royal Highness) and awarded her the highest level of the most Illustrious Order of the House of Chakri
February 16 is now known in Surat Thani as Vibhavadi Day, and civil and religious ceremonies are held in her honour. Vibhavadi Rangsit Highway, which connects Don Mueang International Airport with Bangkok, was named for the beloved princess.
Her husband, Prince Piya Rangsit, founded the Vibhavadi Rangsit Foundation to ensure the continuity of her charitable work in the southern provinces.
Titles and styles
- 20 November 1920 – 6 May 1946 : Her Serene Highness Princess Vibhavadi Rajani
- 6 May 1946 – 16 February 1977 : Her Serene Highness Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit
- 4 April 1977 : Her Royal Highness Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit (Posthumous Name)
- 14 March 1977 : Volunteer Defense Corps Colonel (posthumous promoted)
- 16 July 1953 : King Rama IX Royal Cypher Medal, Third Class
- 9 May 1957 : Companion of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao
- 5 May 1961 : Dame Commander of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao
- 5 May 1968 : Dame Grand Commander of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao
- 4 April 1977 : Dame Grand Cross of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant (posthumous awarded)
- 4 April 1977 : Knight of the Most Illustrious the Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri (posthumous awarded)
- 1960 : Knight Commander of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
|Ancestors of Vibhavadi Rangsit|
- แจ้งความสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา เล่ม 78 ตอน 40ง วันที่ 9 พฤษภาคม 2504
- ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, แจ้งความสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง พระราชทานเครื่องขัตติยราชอิสริยาภรณ์มหาจักรีบรมราชวงศ์, เล่ม ๙๔, ตอน ๓๐ ง, ๕ เมษายน พ.ศ. ๒๕๒๐, หน้า ๑๕๓๗