|Princess Royal of Thailand |
Princess Debaratana Rajasuda
|Born||April 2, 1955|
Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall
Dusit Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
|House||Mahidol (Chakri dynasty)|
|Father||Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)|
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, The Princess Royal and Princess Debaratana Rajasuda (Thai: มหาจักรีสิรินธร, Thai pronunciation: [mā.hǎː t͡ɕàk.krīː sì.rīn.tʰɔ̄ːn]; RTGS: Maha Chakkri Sirinthon; born April 2, 1955), formerly Princess Sirindhorn Debaratanasuda Kitivadhanadulsobhak (Thai: สมเด็จพระเจ้าลูกเธอ เจ้าฟ้าสิรินธรเทพรัตนสุดา กิติวัฒนาดุลโสภาคย์; RTGS: Sirinthontheppharattanasuda Kitiwatthanadunlasophak), is the second daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and younger sister of King Vajiralongkorn.[a] Thais commonly refer to her as "Phra Thep" (Thai: พระเทพ), meaning "princess angel". Her title in Thai is the female equivalent of the title once held by her brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The Thai constitution was altered in 1974 to allow for female succession, thus making her eligible for the throne. Having been the eldest female child of the royal family (excluding Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, who married a foreign commoner), her position is comparable to a princess royal.
Sirindhorn was born on April 2, 1955, at Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, Dusit Palace. The third child of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit. As the royal couple has only one son, the Thai constitution was altered in 1974 to allow for female succession. This made Sirindhorn second-in-line to the throne (after Vajiralongkorn) until the birth of Princess Bajrakitiyabha in 1978.
Sirindhorn attended Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary at Thailand's most exclusive school: The Chitralada School which was established for the children of the Royal Family and Palace staff.
She ranked first in the National School Examinations in primary level (grade 7) in 1967, in upper secondary level (grade 12) in 1972, and fourth in the National University Entrance Examination in 1975.
In 1975 she enrolled in the faculty of arts at Chulalongkorn University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, first-class honours and a gold medal in history in 1976.
From 1976 she continued her studies in two graduate programs concurrently, obtaining a Master of Arts in Oriental epigraphy (Sanskrit and Cambodian) in 1980 and also archaeology from Silpakorn University in 1980. From October 1977, she studied Sanskrit in Bangkok for two years under the tutelage of renowned Sanskrit scholar Satya Vrat Shastri. In 1978, she obtained a Master of Arts in Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University.
In 1981 she enrolled in a doctoral program at Srinakharinwirot University, and was awarded a PhD in developmental education in 1987.
In 1984 she earned a certificate from the Asian Regional Remote Sensing Training Centre at the Asian Institute of Technology where she studied for two months.
In April 2001 she won a scholarship in Chinese culture at Peking University in China where she studied the course for a month.
In December 2012, Sirindhorn was briefly hospitalised to remove calcium deposits.
More popular among the Thai public than her brother Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, Sirindhorn was long rumored to be a potential successor to the Thai throne. In the event, on Bhumibol's death in 2016, the crown went to Vajiralongkorn, now King Rama X.
In January 2021, Sirindhorn was hospitalized after breaking both her ankles. Thai media reported that she fell during a walk; however, Western sources alleged that her ankles were broken by Vajiralongkorn after an argument.
Aside from her passion for technology, she holds degrees in history and a doctorate in educational development. She teaches at the history department of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, where she is the nominal head of the department. In addition to Thai, she speaks fluent English, French and Mandarin Chinese, and is currently studying German and Latin. She translates Chinese literature into Thai.
She is also a skilled performer and avid promoter of Thai traditional music.
Like her father Bhumibol Adulyadej, Princess Sirindhorn holds a certificate as a radio amateur, with her call sign being HS1D.
The University of Liverpool introduced a prestigious new scholarship in honour of Sirindhorn. One full scholarship will be awarded annually to enable a Thai student to study at Liverpool to complete a one-year taught Masters programme. The scholarship is open to all subjects in which a one-year taught Masters programme is offered; however, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with Princess Sirindhorn such as science, information technology, medicine, the arts, geography, history, and languages. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be a Thai national and already hold an offer to study a one-year taught Masters programme at the University of Liverpool.
A number of academic and research institutions in Thailand are named after her:
Several fauna species are named after her, including:
Numerous plant species have been named after her: