Just days before his coronation, King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand married the head of his personal security force and named her Queen of the nation. The 66-year-old King, also known by the title King Rama X, married General Suthida Tidjai. Vajiralongkorn was thrice married and divorced before committing himself to Queen Suthida. The King has seven children from his previous marriages.
King Vajiralongkorn "has decided to promote General Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya, his royal consort, to become Queen Suthida and she will hold royal title and status as part of the royal family", a royal statement said, according to BBC.
Suthida, a former flight attendant at Thai Airways, was appointed as the deputy commander of the king's bodyguard unit back in 2014. In 2016, she was made a full-time general at the Royal Thai Army by King Vajiralongkorn. He also gave her a Thai royal title 'Thanpuying' (equivalent to the British title Lady).
Vajiralongkorn became the monarch of Thailand after the demise of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October 2016. He had completed 70 years on the throne, becoming the only monarch to stay in power that long.
Vajiralongkorn is due to be officially crowned in elaborate Buddhist and Brahmin ceremonies on Saturday, followed by a procession through Bangkok the next day, reports Reuters. King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida have been partners since 2014 and she has been seen with him in public for many years. Some of the media outlets had also linked them to be in a romantic affair but the palace officials had never officially acknowledged any such affair before.
The video footages from the wedding ceremony were shown on Thai media networks on Wednesday, showing other members of the royal family and palace advisers in attendance at the royal wedding.