Sirikit (Thai: สิริกิติ์; Thai pronunciation: [sì.rì.kìt]; About this soundlisten ; born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara (Thai: สิริกิติ์ กิติยากร; RTGSSirikit Kitiyakon) on 12 August 1932) is the Queen mother of Thailand. She was the queen consort of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Rama IX) and is the mother of King Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X). She met Bhumibol in Paris, where her father was Thai ambassador. They married in 1950, shortly before Bhumibol's coronation. Sirikit was appointed queen regent in 1956, when the king entered the Buddhist monkhood for a period of time. Sirikit has one son and three daughters with the king. Consort of the monarch who was the world's longest-reigning head of state, she was also the world's longest-serving consort. Sirikit suffered a stroke on 21 July 2012 and has since refrained from public appearances.

Queen Mother of Thailand
Queen Sirikit 1960.jpg
Queen consort of Thailand
Tenure28 April 1950 – 13 October 2016
Coronation5 May 1950
Born (1932-08-12) 12 August 1932 (age 88)
Pathum Wan, Bangkok, Siam
(m. 1950; died 2016)
Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X)
HouseMahidol (by marriage)
Kitiyakara (by birth)
(Chakri dynasty)
FatherNakkhatra Mangala, Prince of Chanthaburi II
MotherBua Snidvongs
SignatureSirikit's signature

Early life and familyEdit

Sirikit was born on 12 August 1932, at the home of Lord Vongsanuprabhand, her maternal grandfather. She is the eldest daughter and the third child of Prince Nakkhatra Mangkala Kitiyakara, the son of Prince Kitiyakara Voralaksana, and Mom Luang Bua Snidvongs (1909–1999). Her name, which was given by Queen Rambai Barni, means "the greatness of Kitiyakara".[1]

She had three siblings, two elder brothers and a younger sister:

Sirikit was raised by her maternal grandparents for a year after her birth, since her father was in the United States to work as the secretary of the Siamese Embassy at Washington, D.C. Her mother joined her husband three months later. When she was one year old, her parents returned to Thailand. Sirikit lived together with her family in Deves Palace, near the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok.[2]

As a child, Sirikit often visited her paternal grandmother. Once in 1933, she travelled with Princess Absornsaman Devakula following King Prajadhipok's tour in Songkhla.[3]


Queen Sirikit in the Netherlands

At age four, Sirikit attended the Kindergarten College at Rajini School (sometimes called the Queen's College), where she studied at the primary level. During that time the Pacific War was being fought. Bangkok was bombed many times, especially the rail lines, making travel unsafe. She therefore moved to Saint Francis Xavier Convent School, since it was near the palace. She studied at Saint Francis Xavier from her second primary year through the early secondary level.

In 1946, with the war now over, her father moved to the United Kingdom as the ambassador to the Court of St James's, taking his family with him. Sirikit was then 13 and completed her secondary education. While in England she learned to play the piano and became fluent in English and French. Because of her father's work as a diplomat, the family moved to other countries, including Denmark and France. While in France, she studied at a music academy in Paris.

Also in France, Sirikit met King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was related to her, since both were descendants of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). At that time, Bhumibol had ascended to the throne and was studying in Switzerland. Bhumibol and Sirikit (as well as a few other students) were staying at the Thai Royal Embassy in Paris. Sirikit accompanied the king as he visited various tourist attractions, and they found that they had much in common.


On 4 October 1948, while Bhumibol was driving a Fiat Topolino on the Geneva-Lausanne road, he collided into the rear of a braking truck 10 km outside of Lausanne. He injured his back and incurred cuts on his face that cost him most of the sight in one eye.[4] He subsequently wore an ocular prosthetic. While he was hospitalised in Lausanne, Sirikit visited him frequently. She met his mother, The Princess Mother Sangwan, who asked her to continue her studies nearby so that the king could get to know her better. Bhumibol selected a boarding school for her in Lausanne, Riante Rive. A quiet engagement in Lausanne followed on 19 July 1949,[4] and the couple married on 28 April 1950, just a week before his coronation.

Establishment of the QueenEdit

Sirikit in the Establishment Ceremony of the Queen.

The marriage took place at Srapathum Palace. Queen Sri Savarindira, the Queen Grandmother presided over the marriage ceremony. Both the king and Sirikit signed on line 11 of their certificate of marriage. As she was not yet 18, her parents also signed, on line 12 directly under her signature. She later received the Order of the Royal House of Chakri, and became queen. After the coronation ceremony on 5 May 1950, both went back to Switzerland to continue their studies, and returned to Bangkok in 1952.


Name Birth Marriage
Date | Spouse
Their Children Their Grandchildren
Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya (1951-04-05) 5 April 1951 (age 69) 29 July 1981
Divorced 1998
Peter Ladd Jensen Ploypailin Jensen Maximus Wheeler
Leonardo Wheeler
Alexandra Wheeler[5]
Poom Jensen
Sirikitiya Jensen
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Rama X of Thailand (1952-07-28) 28 July 1952 (age 68) 3 January 1977
Divorced 12 August 1991
Soamsawali Kitiyakara Princess Bajrakitiyabha
February 1994
Divorced 1996
Yuvadhida Polpraserth Juthavachara Vivacharawongse
Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse
Chakriwat Vivacharawongse
Vatchrawee Vivacharawongse
Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana
10 February 2001
Divorced 11 December 2014
Srirasmi Suwadee Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti
1 May 2019 Suthida Tidjai
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (1955-04-02) 2 April 1955 (age 65) Never married
Princess Chulabhorn Walailak (1957-07-04) 4 July 1957 (age 63) 1982
Divorced 1996
Virayudh Tishyasarin Princess Siribhachudabhorn
Princess Aditayadornkitikhun


Queen Sirikit during a parade in New York City, July 1960.
Bhumibol and Sirikit, 1963.
Queen Sirikit and Vladimir Putin, 2007.

When the king undertook the traditional period as a Buddhist monk in 1956, Queen Sirikit acted as regent.[6] She performed her duties so well that she was officially named the Regent of Thailand and the King gave her the title "Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat" on his birthday, 5 December 1956. She became the second Siamese queen regent in Thai history. The first was Queen Saovabha Phongsri of Siam, who served as regent when her husband King Chulalongkorn travelled to Europe, and later became Queen Sri Patcharindra.[citation needed]


At dawn on 21 July 2012 Queen Sirikit felt unsteady and staggered while exercising at Siriraj Hospital where King Bhumibol Adulyadej resided. A team of physicians determined after performing magnetic resonance imaging that she had incurred an ischemic stroke.[7]

The queen has been treated and has refrained from public appearances since, including the grand audience granted by her husband on his 85th birthday from the Ananta Samakhom Hall on 5 December 2012.[8]

On 29 November 2016, the palace announced that the queen was discharged from the hospital and has returned to the Chitralada Royal Villa due to her recovery.[9]

Cultural statusEdit

Queen Sirikit's birthday, like the king's, is a national holiday, and is also Mothers' Day in Thailand. She is particularly revered in the more remote and traditional parts of the country, where the monarchy is regarded as semi-divine. Her work in promoting tolerance and understanding for the Muslim minorities in the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat have made her especially popular amongst Thai Muslims.[citation needed] The queen has a strong bond with southern Thailand, and she formerly spent months in the Muslim-majority provinces every year. She is considered to be one of the more quiet diplomats.[10]

Books and writingEdit

Personal Standard of Queen Sirikit with her Royal Cypher, often flown in August (near her birthday and Mothers' Day).

Queen Sirikit published In Memory of my European Trip in 1964, which described her time in Europe with the king. It was this book that revealed that she was a talented writer. Moreover, she has composed songs for performance by The Handsome Band, the band of the palace.

The songs she composed were:

  • Chao Chom Khwan (เจ้าจอมขวัญ)
  • That Thoe (ทาสเธอ)
  • Sai Yut (สายหยุด)
  • Nang Yaem (นางแย้ม)

Title, styles, honours and awardsEdit


Styles of
Queen Sirikit
Reference styleHer Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty
Royal Monogram of Queen Sirikit

Her formal name and title is Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat Phra Borommaracha Chonnani Phanpi Luang Thai: สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ พระบรมราชชนนีพันปีหลวง; "Her Majesty Queen Regent Sirikit, The Queen Mother". Her official title is Queen Mother Sirikit.

At present, the queen ranks as Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet, and Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force, usually mentioned in official documents that: Chom Phon Ying Chom Phon Ruea Ying Chom Phon Akat Ying Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat Thai: จอมพลหญิง จอมพลเรือหญิง จอมพลอากาศหญิง สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ; "Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet, and Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force". The queen held ceremonial supreme power after her husband, who ranked as the Head of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, in the Royal Thai Army.

  • 12 August 1932 – 28 April 1950: Her Grace (English style) or Mom Rajawongse (Thai style) Sirikit Kitiyakara
  • 28 April 1950 – 5 December 1956: Her Majesty The Queen
  • 22 October 1956 – 5 November 1956: Her Majesty The Queen and Regent of Thailand
  • 5 November 1956 – 13 October 2016: Her Majesty The Queen
  • 13 October 2016 – 5 May 2019: Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign
  • 5 May 2019 - present: Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, The Queen Mother

In 1976, the Thai government honored the queen by declaring her birthday a national holiday. The Queen's birthday is celebrated on 12 August each year.[11]

Volunteer Defense Corps of Thailand RankEdit

  • Volunteer Defense Corps General[12]


National honoursEdit

  Thailand :

Foreign honoursEdit

Honours from former sovereign familiesEdit


Year Award Awarded by
1960 Hall of Fame International Best Dressed List
1979 CERES Gold Medal Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
1985 Humanitarian Award Asia Society
1986 Best Conservationist Certificate World Wildlife Fund
1990 Immigration and Refugee Policy Award The Center of Migration Studies
1991 International Humanitarian Award Friends of the National Children's Museum, Washington, DC
1992 Gold Medal for Outstanding Leadership Asian Institute of Technology
1992 UNESCO Borobudur Gold Medal United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
1992 UNICEF Special Recognition Award United Nations Children's Fund
1992 Award of Excellence United Nations Development Fund for Women
1992 UNEP Gold Medal of Distinction United Nations Environment Programme
1993 Woman of the Year 1993 Award Stanford University
1995 1995 Lindbergh Award The Lindbergh Foundation
2000 Merite de Invention The Belgian Chamber of Inventors
2001 Special Prix Bulgarian American Chamber of Commercial and Industry
2002 Louis Pasteur Award International Sericultural Commission
2002 Award for Humanitarian Service The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2004 IUCN Gold Medal International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
2005 Food Safety Award World Health Organization

Honorary degreesEdit

Year Field Academy
1957 Social Work Thammasat University
1960 Public Health Mahidol University
1961 Political Science Chulalongkorn University
1962 Home Economics Kasetsart University
1963 Humanities Centro Escolar University (Philippines)
1965 Decorative Arts Silpakorn University
1969 Agriculture Khon Kaen University
1970 Psychology Chiang Mai University
1970 Development Economics National Institute of Development Administration
1981 Humane Letters Tufts University (United States of America)
1983 Political Science Thammasat University
1984 Industrial Design Chulalongkorn University
1984 Home Economics Sukhothai Thammathirat University
−1987 Humane Letters Concord College (United States of America)
1988 Medicine Mahidol University
1989 Forestry Thammasat University
1989 Business Administration Khon Kaen University
1990 Industrial Design King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang
1990 Vocational Education Administration King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang
1990 Public Health Sukhothai Thammathirat University
1991 Finance Khon Kaen University
1991 General Administration Ramkhamhaeng University
1992 Technology of Environmental Management Mahidol University
1992 Education Chulalongkorn University
1992 Marketing Kasetsart University
1992 Thai Arts Silpakorn University
1993 Humane Letters Georgetown University (United States of America)
1995 Humane Letters Johns Hopkins University (United States of America)
1997 Philosophy Tokai University (Japan)
2000 Thai Language Thaksin University
2003 Visual Communication Design Khon Kaen University
2004 Textile, Costume, Garment and Fashion Design Thammasat University
2004 Social Development Management Khon Kaen University
2004 Natural Resource Management King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi
2004 Environmental Management Prince of Songkla University
2005 Food Science Kasetsart University
2006 Cultural Studies Songkhla Rajabhat University
2007 Eastern Languages and Cultures University of Saint Petersburg (Russia)


Queen Sirikit is well known for her charitable work, where she is the honorary president of the Thai Red Cross, a post she has held since 1956. She gained new prominence in this role in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in southern Thailand in December 2004. She has also been active in relief work for the many refugees from Cambodia and Burma in Thailand.

Many things in Thailand have been named after the Queen:

The queen is also active in promoting Thai culture and history, mainly through her initiative in the making of the Thai movie The Legend of Suriyothai, one of the most lavish and expensive Thai movies ever made.[36]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^[not specific enough to verify]
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Handley, Paul M. (2006). The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej, pp. 103–4. Yale University Press.
  5. ^ "คุณพลอยไพลิน เจนเซน อุ้มธิดาน้อย ร่วมชมงาน อุ่นไอรักคลายความหนาวฯ". Khao Sod (in Thai). 14 January 2019.
  6. ^ Handley (2006), p. 131-32.
  7. ^ "Statement of the Bureau of the Royal Household, Re: Her Majesty the Queen falls ill at Siriraj Hospital, dated 21 July 2012" (pdf) (in Thai). Bureau of the Royal Household. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Statement of the Bureau of the Royal Household, Re: Her Majesty the Queen falls ill at Siriraj Hospital, No. 12, dated 4 December 2012" (pdf) (in Thai). Bureau of the Royal Household. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "แถลงการณ์สำนักพระราชวัง "พระราชินี" พระอาการทั่วไปดีขึ้นมาก เสด็จกลับประทับพระตำหนักจิตรลดาฯ". Matichon Online (in Thai). Bangkok: Matichon. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  10. ^ Morris, Kylie (16 November 2004), "Thai Queen's plea to end violence", News, UK: BBC, retrieved 7 July 2008.
  11. ^ Forbes, Andrew (2010). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand's Beaches & Islands, p. 35. Dorling Kindersley Limited.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Image: king-bhumibol-adulyadej_queen-consort-sirikit_health_family-life--w=1500.jpg, (1500 × 844 px)". Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Image: rubyem.jpg, (270 × 432 px)". 8 August 2004. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  15. ^ Sirikit wearing the Order of the Nine Gems
  16. ^ "Image: DSC06881.JPG, (443 × 660 px)". 10 August 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Image: events_6584_1.jpg, (400 × 583 px)". 10 August 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Image: T0015_0001_01.jpg, (360 × 480 px)". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Image: Queen+Sirikit%252C+1988.jpg, (1039 × 1420 px)". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Image: 58ca2668f9e39efee060af5f7caf5393.jpg, (236 × 351 px)". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  21. ^ "S.M. Sirikit Regina di Tailandia, Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  22. ^ "King Bhumibol, Queen Sirikit And King Baudouin I Of Belgium. News Photo | Getty Images". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  25. ^ "Image: 6ce28541f1e8743de82cf432effb3e0a.jpg, (236 × 375 px)". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  26. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1962" (PDF).
  27. ^ Malaysia - Queen Sirikit's photo, wearing the order
  28. ^ Photo of Sirikit wearing the Order of the Precious Crown
  29. ^ "Two Ancient Lands Strengthen Their Ties". Taiwan Today. 1 July 1963. Retrieved 13 April 2020. President Chiang decorated King Bhumibol with the Special Grand Cordon of the Order of Brilliant Jade and Queen Sirikit with the Special Grand Cordon of the Order of Propitious Clouds.
  30. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 171. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  31. ^ "PANTIP.COM : K6844924 พราวเพชรา อร่ามงามตางานเครื่องทอง คู่พระเกียรติยศ พระบารมี ราชจักรีวงศ์ [ประวัติศาสตร์]". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  32. ^ Photo of the State visit of Laotian President in Thailand
  33. ^ Iran - Photo of the order worn by the Queen
  34. ^ Nepal - Photo of Sirikit wearing the Order
  35. ^ Ridout, Lucy (2009). The Rough Guide to Thailand, p. 357. Penguin.
  36. ^ "Thailand's Suriyothai beats Titanic", News, UK: BBC, 23 November 2001, retrieved 7 July 2008.

External linksEdit

Born: 12 August 1932
Thai royalty
Title last held by
Rambhai Barni Svastivatana
Queen consort of Thailand
Title next held by
Suthida Tidjai
Order of precedence
Preceded by
The King
Thai order of precedence
The Queen Mother

2nd position
Succeeded by
The Queen