The end of the fairy tale

 

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Princess' Srirasmi story is a Cinderella fable without a happy end. A former waitress from Rachaburi,  west of Bangkok, Srirasmi married Crown Prince  Maha Vajiralongkorn, eldest son and heir to king Bhumibol of Thailand.

For ten yeasr Srirasmi, who has a nine year old son with prince Vajiralongkorn expected that she eventually would become queen. King Bhumibol who has been on the throne since 1946 is 87 and in frail health. Prince Vajiralongkorn is ready to succeed him. But getting there meant a reversal of fortune for his wife.

 

 

 

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The Thai royal family has survived in the age of democracy largely because, and  has remained popular, not only thanks to Bhumibol semi god like status, but largely thanks to press cencorship, that prevents royal scandals from reaching the public.

 

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Last year however there was a huge scandal when a video emerged in which Vajiralongkorn and Srirasmi celebrated their poodle's birthday. The dog named Foo Foo was fed cake while the royal couple drank shampagne. Srirasmi was topless wearing only a g-string.

The video emerged as Thailand is rocked by a military coup. The army supports  monarchy but is not on good terms with Vajiralongkorn as he had ties with  the previous regime. The military also don't approve o Srirasmi because of her questionable past.

A few months ago seven close relatives of the princess, her uncles and siblings  were arrested, and accused of misusing their royal status to amass vast wealth and carry out numerous abuses. It  was a major sign that the princess' position was in peril.

 

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The rumours were verified when Vajiralongkorn announced he was divorcing Srirasmi, who is now  stripped of her royal titles.

Vajiralongkorn apparently wants to smooth out his way to succesion and amend his relationship with the military. But even before his divorce was announced it became known that he had already chosen a new wife who was pregnant with his child. This impact the royal succession in the next generation as it potentially disqualifies  Srirasmi's son over the prince's future children.The prince also has sons from a previous marriage who live in exile in the US .

 

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Srirasmi has returned to her hometown in Rachaburi, West of Bangkok, to live a quiet life with a compensation of 5 million dollars. She had to leave her only child, Prince Dipankorn Rasmichoti, 9, in the care of her former husband. This will allow him to maintain his deserved royal titles.

 

                                                                        Michael Argyropoulos

 

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