Thai king names his consort queen days before coronation

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has named his long-time consort Suthida as Queen ahead of his coronation

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has named his long-time consort Suthida as Queen ahead of his coronation

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun revealed he has Wednesday his royal consort General Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Aydhayaand declared her queen just days before his coronation.

The announcement, carried in the Royal Gazette, came just before the official coronation of the king, 66, on May 4-6.

Suthida previously worked as flight attendant for Thai Airways.

It was not immediately clear what role Queen Suthida will play in the ceremony.

At a ceremony yesterday at Bangkok's Dusit Palace, the couple took part in a royal marriage registration, according to a palace TV pooled news broadcast of the event. Ms Suthida, 40, had been rumoured to be romantically linked with him since then, but their relationship was not made public until now.

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She joined the palace guard in 2014 and is commander of the king's bodyguard unit, now holding a general's rank.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn formally took the throne in December 2016, two months after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016. The exact reason for the delayed formal coronation is unknown, although it was initially said to be due to a mourning period for the king's father. In 2016, The king also reportedly made her a full general in the Royal Thai Army.

In this photo released by Bureau of the Royal Household, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, right, presents a gift to Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya at Ampornsan Throne Hall in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

The King is frequently overseas in Germany.

Harsh lese-majeste laws have shielded public scrutiny of his colourful private life, and all media in Thailand must self-censor.

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