Queen Elizabeth’s ties with Thailand in remembrance
The Royal Family, government and people of Thailand sent their condolences last week to their British counterparts upon the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, while also fondly recalling her visits to Thailand.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the people of the Kingdom of Thailand wish to express our deepest sorrow for the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” the Ministry said. The statement also noted the close ties between the people of the two nations. The Thai government ordered flags to be flown half-mast for three days following the Queen’s passing.
Queen Elizabeth II last visited Thailand in 1996 with her royal consort, the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as part of celebrations marking King Bhumibol The Great’s 50th Anniversary of His Majesty’s accession to the throne. As with Queen Elizabeth II, King Bhumibol The Great was a constitutional monarch. He became the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty at the age of 18 in 1946 and reined for seven decades until his passing in 2016.
Both Queen Elizabeth II and King Bhumibol The Great were young when they assumed their royal duties, and both the British and Thai monarchs established themselves as wise and visionary heads of state over the ensuing decades. They earned praise from all corners of the globe for their leadership and the examples they set.
At the 1996 state banquet, Queen Elizabeth II emphasized the long relationship between the two peoples and their royal families. She noted that her great-grandmother Queen Victoria corresponded by letter many times with King Bhumibol The Great’s grandfather King Chulalongkorn, the fifth King of the Chakri Dynasty, who reigned from 1868 until 1910.
Queen Elizabeth II had made an earlier state visit to Thailand in 1972 with her husband and daughter Princess Anne. They also traveled north to Chiang Mai, visiting ethnic tribes and people in the areas. On both occasions, great crowds turned out to see the British Queen at her public appearances.
Queen Elizabeth II was equally gracious in hosting King Bhumibol The Great and Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother on their state visits to the United Kingdom in 1960 and 1966. “Their Majesties were welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Victoria Station in London. The four royals then traveled to nearby Buckingham Palace in iconic horse-drawn carriages, cheered through the streets by hundreds of thousands of people who had gathered to welcome the Thai royals,” the Bangkok Post wrote.
Photo courtesy of https://www.mfa.go.th/en/content/