Thai royal ranks and titles

The precedence of Thai royalty follows a system of ranks known as thanandon (Thai: ฐานันดร), which are accompanied by royal titles.

The SovereignEdit

There are two styles which can be used for a king in ordinary speech, depending on whether he has been crowned:

  • Crowned kings: Phra Bat Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua (Thai: พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว; English: His Majesty the King) is the style used in ordinary speech when referring to the kings of Thailand after their coronation. This style may be used in two ways:
    • Preceding the name of the king; e.g., Phra Bat Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Phumiphon Adunyadet (Thai: พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวภูมิพลอดุลยเดช; His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej).
    • More formally it can be split across the name, possibly with the omission (or modification) of the words "Phra Chao Yu Hua"; e.g., Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramintara Maha Phumiphon Adunyadet (Thai: พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช) and Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramindara Maha Prajadhipok Phra Pokklao Chao Yu Hua (Thai: พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาประชาธิปกฯ พระปกเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว).
  • Uncrowned kings: Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua (Thai: สมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว), normally preceding the king's name, is restricted to a king who has not yet been crowned. When crowned, he assumes the title of Phra Bat Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua; e.g., Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Maha Wachiralongkon Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun (Thai: สมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร; His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun).[1]

ConsortsEdit

Traditionally, titles of royal wives depended on their birth titles and royal favour; only princesses of high birth (Chao Fa, Phra Ong Chao and Mom Chao Ying) assuming titles higher than Chao Chom.[citation needed] There were no clear rules about the hierarchy of titles above Chao Chom until the time of King Mongkut, and titles changed over successive reigns. The rule about commoners also seems to be evolving, and it appears that there are no more restrictions on a commoner from becoming queen. Most of the titles below are from King Vajiravudh's 1924 enactment of the Succession Law.

Consorts
Rank Title Style Remarks
Somdet Phra Akkhara Mahesi
สมเด็จพระอัครมเหสี
(Supreme Royal Consort)
Somdet Phra Boromma Rajininat
สมเด็จพระบรมราชินีนาถ
(Queen Regent)
Somdet Phra Nang Chao + Name + Phra Boromma Rajini Nat
Her Majesty, the Queen
Nat (นาถ) means "shelter", bestowed upon a Queen who has acted as regent for her husband.
Somdet Phra Boromma Rajini
สมเด็จพระบรมราชินี
Somdet Phra Nang Chao + Name + Phra Boromma Rajini
Her Majesty, the Queen
Somdet Phra Rajini
สมเด็จพระราชินี
Somdet Phra Rajini + Name Temporary title before coronation
Phra Mahesi
พระมเหสี
(Royal Consort)
Somdet Phra Boromma Rajadevi
สมเด็จพระบรมราชเทวี
Somdet Phra Nang Chao + Name + Phra Boromma Rajadevi
Her Majesty, the Queen
Somdet Phra Akkhara Rajadevi
สมเด็จพระอัครราชเทวี
Somdet Phra Nang Chao + Name + Phra Akkhara Rajadevi
Her Majesty, the Queen
Phra Akkhara Rajadevi
พระอัครราชเทวี
Phra Nang Chao + Name + Phra Akkhara Rajadevi
Her Royal Highness, Princess, Royal Consort
Phra Vara Rajadevi
พระวรราชเทวี
Phra Nang Chao + Name + Phra Vara Rajadevi
Her Royal Highness, Princess, Royal Consort
Phra Rajadevi
พระราชเทวี
Phra Nang Chao + Name + Phra Rajadevi
Her Royal Highness, Princess, Royal Consort
Phra Nang Thoe
พระนางเธอ
Phra Nang Thoe + Name
Her Royal Highness, Princess, Royal Consort
Phra Akkhara Chaya Thoe
พระอรรคชายาเธอ
Phra Akkhara Chaya Thoe + Name
Her Highness, Princess, Royal Consort
Phra Raja Chaya Thoe
พระราชชายาเธอ
Phra Raja Chaya Thoe + Name
Her Highness, Princess, Royal Consort
Phra Sanom
พระสนม
(Royal Concubine)
Chao Khun Phra
เจ้าคุณพระ
Royal Noble Consort
Chao Khun Phra + Name Appointed to
* Foreign princess
* Mom Chao (Her Serene Highness, Princess)
* Mom Rajawongse
* Mom Luang
* Commoners
During pregnancy, known as Chao Chom Manda, Manda means "mother"
Phra was used during Rama VI's reign
Chao Khun Chom Manda
เจ้าคุณจอมมารดา
Noble Consort
Chao Khun Chom Manda + Name
Chao Chom Manda
เจ้าจอมมารดา
Noble Consort
Chao Chom Manda + Name
Chom Manda
จอมมารดา
Front Palace Consort
Chom Manda + Name
Chao Chom
เจ้าจอม
Consort
Chao Chom + Name
Phra
พระ
Lady
Phra + Name

Princes and princessesEdit

Holders of these titles are still considered royal, since they are (at most) two generations removed from a king. Nai Luang (ในหลวง) is an epithet for a king.[2] Children of a king are called Luk Luang (ลูก หลวง "royal children"), and grandchildren of a king are called Laan Luang (หลาน หลวง "royal grandchildren"). The concept is similar to the French system of "princes of the blood" and the Iberian system of "infantes." In English, they are normally called "prince" or "princess". Special forms are used when one wishes to address them, although the language is less elaborate than when speaking to the king or the queen. A male Luk Luang who does not accede to the throne would assume a new royal surname, normally reflecting his birth name (as opposed to an honorific given later). The surname can be used by his wife if she is a commoner by birth, possibly with Na Ayudhya added if she has no noble title. It is otherwise not normally used until his children (or grandchildren) first hold the title of Mom Chao, when the surname will first appear in their names.

Sovereign's childrenEdit

Order of precedence of a sovereign's children
Rank Title Remarks
Thai English
Somdet Chao Fa Somdet Phra Anujadhiraj / Somdet Phra Kanitthadhiraj His Royal Highness, The Hereditary Prince / Her Royal Highness, The Hereditary Princess Elevated to "Heir Apparent" by Rama VI
Higher than the other royal family; for example,

Elevated for "Princess Royal" by Rama X
Higher than the other royal family; for example,

Somdet Chao Fa
Special Class
His Royal Highness, Prince Elevated to "Special Class" by Rama VII and Bhanurangsi Savangvongse, Prince Banubandhu Vongsevoradej
Somdet Phra Chao Borommawong Thoe
Chao Fa
First Class
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For a sovereign's children with:
  1. The Queen
  2. Royal consorts who are a sovereign's daughter
Somdet Phra Chao Borommawong Thoe
Chao Fa
Second Class
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For a sovereign's children with:
  1. Royal consorts
  2. A foreign princess
Phra Ong Chao
Special Class
Somdet Phra Chao Borommawong Thoe
Phra Ong Chao
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For a sovereign's children with:
  1. HSH Princess
  2. A royal concubine
Phra Ong Chao
First Class
Phra Chao Baromwongse Thoe
Phra Ong Chao
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For a sovereign's children with:
  1. HSH Princess
  2. A royal concubine

Viceroy's childrenEdit

Order of precedence of Viceroy's children
Rank Title Remarks
Thai English
Special Class Phra Chao Rajvorawongse Ther Chao Fa
(พระเจ้าราชวรวงศ์เธอ เจ้าฟ้า)
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For Viceroy's children with a royal consort who is a princess
Phra Ong Chao Phra Chao Rajvorawongse Ther
Phra Ong Chao

(พระเจ้าราชวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า)
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of Viceroys
  1. Maha Sura Singhanat
  2. Maha Senanurak
  3. Maha Sakdi Balasebya
  4. Pinklao
Phra Rajvorawongse Ther
Phra Ong Chao

(พระราชวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า)
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of Wichaichan

Sovereign's grandchildrenEdit

Order of precedence of sovereign's grandchildren
Rank Title Remarks
Thai English
Special Class Somdet Phra Chao Lanh Ther Chao Fa
(สมเด็จพระเจ้าหลานเธอ เจ้าฟ้า)
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of the sovereign's daughters or the sovereign's sisters with a prince. They are the third class of Chao Fa.
Phra Ong Chao Phra Chao Lanh Ther Phra Ong Chao
(พระเจ้าหลานเธอ พระองค์เจ้า)
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of the sovereign's sons (First Class) with a princess or royal consort.

After their grandfather's reign, their title changes to Phra Chao Voravongse Ther Phra Ong Chao (พระเจ้าวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า)

Phra Lanh Ther Phra Ong Chao
(พระหลานเธอ พระองค์เจ้า)
His Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of:
  1. The sovereign's sons (First Class) with a commoner elevated by the king
  2. The sovereign's sons (Second Class) with a princess

After their grandfather's reign, their title changes to Phra Voravongse Ther Phra Ong Chao (พระวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า)

Phra Sambandhawongse Ther
Phra Ong Chao

(พระสัมพันธวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า)
His Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of Prince Matayabitaksa, maternal grandfather of Rama V
Mom Chao Mom Chao
(หม่อมเจ้า)
His Serene Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of the sovereign's sons with a commoner

Sovereign's nephew or nieceEdit

Order of precedence of sovereign's nephew or niece
Rank Title Remarks
Thai English
Chao Fa Somdet Phra Sambhandhawongse Ther
Chao Fa

(สมเด็จพระสัมพันธวงศ์เธอ เจ้าฟ้า)
His Royal Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of Rama I's eldest sisters; Princess Debsudavadi and Princess Sri Sudaraksha
Phra Ong Chao Phra Prabhandhawongse Ther
Phra Ong Chao

(พระประพันธวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า)
His Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of deputy viceroy Anuraksha Deveshra with a royal consort
Mom Chao Mom Chao
(หม่อมเจ้า)
His Serene Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of:
  1. Sons and daughters of Princess Debsudavadi and Princess Sri Sudaraksha's son
  2. Sons and daughters of deputy viceroy Anuraksha Deveshra with a concubine

Viceroy's grandchildrenEdit

Order of precedence of Viceroy's grandchildren
Rank Title Remarks
Thai English
Phra Ong Chao Phra Wongse Ther

Phra Ong Chao
(พระวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้า)

His Highness, Prince (Princess) For the Viceroy's grandchildren who is in officials.
Mom Chao Mom Chao
(หม่อมเจ้า)
His Serene Highness, Prince (Princess) For the Viceroy's grandchildren

Sovereign's great-grandchildrenEdit

Order of precedence of sovereign's great-grandchildren
Rank Title Remarks
Thai English
Mom Chao Mom Chao
(หม่อมเจ้า)
His Serene Highness, Prince (Princess) For children of the sovereign's grandchildren in the class of Phra Chao Lanh Thor Phra Ong Chao (HRH, Prince)
Mom Rajawongse Mom Rajawongse
(หม่อมราชวงศ์)
His Excellency/

His Grace

For children of the sovereign's grandchildren in the class of Phra Lanh Thor Phra Ong Chao (HH Prince) and Mom Chao (HSH Prince). They are not members of the royal family.

Royal descendantsEdit

More distant royal progeny, starting from the children of male Mom Chao, are considered commoners. However, these commoners have titles indicating that their ancestry can be traced back to a king.

Mom RajawongseEdit

Mom Rajawongse (หม่อมราชวงศ์, RTGSMom Ratchawong; abbreviated in Thai as ม.ร.ว. and in English as M. R. and translated as "His/Her Excellency") is the title assumed by children of male Mom Chao M.C.(English) M.C. After first name Informally, they may be called Khun Chai (male) or Khun Ying (female) (คุณชาย.../คุณหญิง...). Holders of this title are occasionally erroneously referred to as princes or princesses in older English documents; it is now more common to use the correct title, "Mom Rajawongse". If a specific title is appended, sometimes the titular may be called His/Her Grace by proclamation of the King or a Prince-Regent, but not by a Queen-regent or any royal member sitting in the King's capacity as a Councillor-of-State.

Mom LuangEdit

Mom Luang (หม่อมหลวง, abbreviated in Thai ม.ล. and sometimes in English as M. L. and translated as "The Honourable") are the last royal descendants retaining a title. Mom Luang titles are conferred on children of male Mom Rajawongse. Colloquially (although incorrectly), they are sometimes addressed as "Mom"; the correct informal address is "Khun" (คุณ).

Na AyudhyaEdit

In the Family Name Act, B. E. 2465, Rama VI ordered that royal descendants who do not hold any title should append "Na Ayudhya" (ณ อยุธยา) to their surname to signify they are descended from a royal bloodline. Sometime spelled "Na Ayutthaya".

Wife of princeEdit

Wives of princes have titles, depending on the titles on both sides.[citation needed]

Phra VorachayaEdit

Phra Vorachaya (พระวรชายา) is a title of the royal consort of the Crown Prince. She is elevated to Phra Chao Vorawongse Ther Phra Ong Chao.

Phra ChayaEdit

Phra Chaya (พระชายา) is a princess, Chao Fa (HRH Princess) or Phra Ong Chao (HRH Princess) who is married to prince, at every level. She retains her own title. When referring to her as a wife of the prince, she may be called "Phra Chaya Nai (husband's name)".

ChayaEdit

Chaya (ชายา) is a princess or Mom Chao (HSH Princess) who is married to prince, at every level. Again, she would retain her own title. When referring to her as a wife of the prince, she may be called "Chaya Nai (husband's name)".

MomEdit

Mom (หม่อม), in this context, is a commoner married to a prince. She uses this title as a prefix of her name, adding na Ayudhya to her new surname; for example, Mom Srirasmi Mahidol na Ayudhya (a wife of Chao Fa Maha Vajiralongkorn, whose surname is Mahidol). If she has her own title (Mom Rajawongse or Mom Luang), she retains it.

Married princessesEdit

The son of a holder of the following titles generally inherits a title one step below; a female Mom Rajawongse married to a commoner would produce a child with no title. According to the Royal Marriages Act, B. E. 2475, a princess wishing to marry to a commoner must request royal permission and abandon her royal title. For example, if princess Chao Fa, HRH Princess of Thailand, wished to marry a Mom Rajawongse commoner she would lose her royal title (Chao Fa, HRH Princess of Thailand) but retain royal style as follows:

  • Chao Fa, HRH Princess of Thailand: Tunkramom Ying (daughter of the sovereign with the queen)
  • Chao Fa, HRH Princess of Thailand: Somdet Ying (daughter of the sovereign with the royal consort)
  • Phra Ong Chao, HRH Princess of Thailand: Sadet Phra Ong Ying (daughter of the sovereign with the concubine)
  • Phra Ong Chao, HRH Princess of Thailand: Phra Ong Ying (daughter of the son of the sovereign with the queen and his royal consort)
  • Phra Ong Chao, HH Princess of Thailand: Than Phra Ong Ying (daughter of the son of the sovereign who was elevated from Mom Chao to Phra Ong Chao)
  • Mom Chao, HSH Princess of Thailand: Than Ying (daughter of the son of the sovereign and his consort, or great-granddaughter of the sovereign)

However, Chao Fa Chulabhorn Walailak received permission from the king to keep her title when she married commoner Virayudh Tishyasarin.

Royal peerageEdit

In addition to royal ranks and titles, royals may also receive noble titles in the style of the nobility. These are referred to as krom (กรม) titles. While the granting of noble titles ceased with the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932, on very rare occasions the king may still grant an honorary noble title to a royal.

The noble title, which consists of a rank and a title, is appended to the royal name and title, prefixed with the word krom (pronounced kromma when forming part of the title). For example, the full title of the King's sister is "Somdej Phra Chao Pheenang Ther Chao Fa Galyani Vadhana Kromma Luang Narathivat Rajanakarin. Nevertheless, it is the princely title which will be more frequently omitted when contracting the title e.g. Somdej Phra Chao Boromawong Ther Kromma Phraya Damrong Rajanubhab (born Phra Ong Chao Disuankumaan).[3] There are 5 feudal titles for prince/princess:

The ranks of royal peerage are:

Since the time of King Chulalongkorn, the honorific titles given to the royalties normally incorporate a city name or its modified form, and the holders are known in English as the Prince or Princess of that city.

The sovereign may grant titles to other royal-family members:

  1. Somdet Phra Prathom Borom Ratchachonok: HRH Prince Father of Rama I
  2. Somdet Phra Rupsirisobakya Mahanaknari: HRH Princess Rupsirisobakya Mahanaknari, Mother of Queen Amarindra
  3. Somdet Phra Piyamavadi Sri Bajarindra Mata: HRH Princess Piyamavadi Sri Bajarindra Mata, Mother of Queen Saovabha Bongsri
  4. Somdet Phra Sri Savarindira Barom Raja Devi: HM Queen Sri Savarindira, Queen Grandmother of Rama VIII and Rama IX
  5. Somdet Phra Mahitaladhibes Adulyadejvikrom Phra Borom Ratchachonok: HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, Prince Father of Rama VIII and Rama IX
  6. Somdet Phra Debaratanarajasuda Chao Fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Rathasimagunakornpiyajat Sayamboromrajakumari: HRH Princess Sirindhorn, the Princess Royal (Daughter of Rama IX and Younger Sister of Rama X)

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun (conventionally Bodindradebayavarangkun) is a temporary name that will be used prior to King Vajiralongkorn's coronation.
  2. ^ "คนไทยรักนายหลวง" [Thai people love the King]. Community page. Google+. 31 August 2013. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  3. ^ "เจ้าต่างกรม". Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2019.

ReferencesEdit

  • Jones Robert B., 1971, Thai Titles and Ranks, Including a Translation of Royal Lineage in Siam by King Chulalongkorn, Data Paper No. 81. Ithaca: Southeast Asia Program, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University
  • Finestone Jeffrey, 1989, The Royal Family of Thailand: The Descendants of King Chulalongkorn
  • Rabibhadana M.R. Akin, 1996, The Organization of Thai Society in the Early Bangkok Period 1782 – 1873
  • Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand, 2007, The King of Thailand in World Focus
  • "RID 1999". The Royal Institute of Thailand. Archived from the original (Online) on 3 March 2009. Select initial letter then enter full spelling

External linksEdit