Sirikit (Thai: สิริกิติ์; Thai pronunciation: [sì.rì.kìt]; listen (help·info); born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara (Thai: สิริกิติ์ กิติยากร; RTGS: Sirikit 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 consort of Thailand|
|Tenure||28 April 1950 – 13 October 2016|
|Coronation||5 May 1950|
|Born||12 August 1932|
Pathum Wan, Bangkok, Siam
Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
(m. 1950; died 2016)
Vajiralongkorn (Rama X)
|House||Mahidol (by marriage)|
Kitiyakara (by birth)
|Father||Nakkhatra Mangala, 2nd Prince of Chanthaburi|
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".
She had three siblings, two elder brothers and a younger sister:
- Prof. Mom Rajawongse Kalyanakit Kitiyakara, M.D. (20 September 1929 – 15 May 1987)
- Mom Rajawongse Adulakit Kitiyakara (2 November 1930 – 5 May 2004)
- Mom Rajawongse Busba Kitiyakara (born 2 August 1934)
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.
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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. 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, and the couple married on 28 April 1950, just a week before his coronation.
Establishment of the QueenEdit
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.
Date | Spouse
|Their Children||Their Grandchildren|
|Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya||5 April 1951||29 July 1981
|Peter Ladd Jensen||Ploypailin Jensen||Maximus Wheeler|
|King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Rama X of Thailand||28 July 1952||3 January 1977
Divorced 12 August 1991
|Soamsawali Kitiyakara||Princess Bajrakitiyabha|
|Yuvadhida Polpraserth||Juthavachara 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||2 April 1955||Never married|
|Princess Chulabhorn Walailak||4 July 1957||1982
|Virayudh Tishyasarin||Princess Siribhachudabhorn|
When the king undertook the traditional period as a Buddhist monk in 1956, Queen Sirikit acted as regent. 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.
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.
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.
Queen Sirikit's birthday, as is 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. 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.
Books and writingEdit
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
|Reference style||Her Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
Her formal name and title is Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat Phra Borommaracha Chanini 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: The Honourable (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.
Volunteer Defense Corps of Thailand RankEdit
- Volunteer Defense Corps General
- Dame (star with diamonds) of The Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri
- Dame of the Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems 
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Chula Chom Klao
- Dame Grand Cordon (Special Class) of The Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant
- Dame Grand Cordon (Special Class) of The Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand
- Dame Grand Cross (First Class) of The Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn
- Member (Special Class) of The Order of Symbolic Propitiousness Ramkeerati - Boy Scout Citation Medal
- Freeman Safeguarding Medal (First Class)
- Civil Dushdi Mala Medal
- The Border Service Medal
- King Rama IX Royal Cypher Medal (First Class)
- King Rama IX Rajaruchi Medal (Gold Class)
- King Rama X Royal Cypher Medal (First Class)
- The Red Cross Commendation Medal
- Commemorative Medal on the Occasion of the Coronation of H.M. King Rama X
- Grand Cross of the Order of Saint James of the Sword, 1960
- Member of The Royal Order of the Seraphim (3 September 1960)
- 1960: Grand Cross (Special Class) of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 1960: Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- 1960: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- 1961: First Class of The Star of Mahaputera
- 1962: Malaysia - Honorary Recipient of the Order of the Crown of the Realm (Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara)
- 1999: Selangor - Grand Cross of The Most Esteemed Royal Family Order of Selangor (Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati Kelas Pertama)
- 2004: Kelantan - Grand Cross of The Most Esteemed Royal Family Order of Kelantan (Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati)
- 2009: Terengganu - Grand Cross of The Most Distinguished Royal Family Order of Terengganu (Darjah Kerabat di-Raja Terengganu Yang Amat Mulia)
- 1963: Special Grand Cordon of The Order of Propitious Clouds
- 1964: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria
- 1965: Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav
- 1968: Grand Collar (Maringal na Kuwintas) of The Order of the Golden Heart
- South Korea
- 1981: Grand Order of Mugunghwa
- 1990: The Most Esteemed Royal Family Order Seri Utama of Brunei
- 1992: Phoxay Lane Xang 
Honours from former sovereign familiesEdit
- 1963: Grand Cross of the Order of Beneficence
- 1963: Grand Cordon of the Most Esteemed Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol
- 1968: Iranian Imperial Family: Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Pleiades, 1st Class 
- 1968: Dame Grand Cordon of the Most Exalted Order of the Queen of Sheba
- 1986: Member of The Nepal Pratap Bhaskara 
|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|
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 Sirikit National Institute of Child Health, children's hospital
- the Queen Sirikit Medical Center building, Ramathibodi Hospital
- the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer, a new 10-storey hospital in Bangkok
- the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok
- the Queen Sirikit Park in Bangkok
- the Sirikit Dam on the Nan River, Uttaradit Province
- the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Chiang Mai Province
- the Queen Sirikit Arboretum Garden, Pathum Thani Province
- the Queen Sirikit Cup, an annual Asian-Pacific golfing event
- the Queen Sirikit Crab (Thaiphusa sirikit)
- the Queen Sirikit Rose
- the Queen's Cup, annual football competition
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.
|Ancestors of Sirikit|
- Handley, Paul M. (2006). The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej, pp. 103–4. Yale University Press.
- "คุณพลอยไพลิน เจนเซน อุ้มธิดาน้อย ร่วมชมงาน อุ่นไอรักคลายความหนาวฯ". Khao Sod (in Thai). 14 January 2019.
- Handley (2006), p. 131-32.
- "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.
- "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]
- "แถลงการณ์สำนักพระราชวัง "พระราชินี" พระอาการทั่วไปดีขึ้นมาก เสด็จกลับประทับพระตำหนักจิตรลดาฯ". Matichon Online (in Thai). Bangkok: Matichon. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- Morris, Kylie (16 November 2004), "Thai Queen's plea to end violence", News, UK: BBC, retrieved 7 July 2008.
- Forbes, Andrew (2010). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand's Beaches & Islands, p. 35. Dorling Kindersley Limited.
- "Image: king-bhumibol-adulyadej_queen-consort-sirikit_health_family-life--w=1500.jpg, (1500 × 844 px)". royalista.com. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Image: rubyem.jpg, (270 × 432 px)". soravij.com. 8 August 2004. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Sirikit wearing the Order of the Nine Gems
- "Image: DSC06881.JPG, (443 × 660 px)". oknation.net. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Image: events_6584_1.jpg, (400 × 583 px)". thecottagesuvarnabhumi.com. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Image: T0015_0001_01.jpg, (360 × 480 px)". ohm.go.th. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Image: Queen+Sirikit%252C+1988.jpg, (1039 × 1420 px)". 3.bp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Image: 58ca2668f9e39efee060af5f7caf5393.jpg, (236 × 351 px)". s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "S.M. Sirikit Regina di Tailandia, Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" (in Italian). Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "King Bhumibol, Queen Sirikit And King Baudouin I Of Belgium. News Photo | Getty Images". gettyimages.co.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). boe.es. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). boe.es. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Image: 6ce28541f1e8743de82cf432effb3e0a.jpg, (236 × 375 px)". s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1962" (PDF).
- Malaysia - Queen Sirikit's photo, wearing the order
- Photo of Sirikit wearing the Order of the Precious Crown
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 171. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "PANTIP.COM : K6844924 พราวเพชรา อร่ามงามตางานเครื่องทอง คู่พระเกียรติยศ พระบารมี ราชจักรีวงศ์ [ประวัติศาสตร์]". topicstock.pantip.com. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Photo of the State visit of Laotian President in Thailand
- Iran - Photo of the order worn by the Queen
- Nepal - Photo of Sirikit wearing the Order
- Ridout, Lucy (2009). The Rough Guide to Thailand, p. 357. Penguin.
- "Thailand's Suriyothai beats Titanic", News, UK: BBC, 23 November 2001, retrieved 7 July 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sirikit.|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
SirikitBorn: 12 August 1932
Title last held byRambhai Barni Svastivatana
| Queen consort of Thailand
Title next held bySuthida Tidjai
|Order of precedence|
| The Queen mother
The Princess Royal