For an Australian contribution to royalist imagery, see the ABC’s transcript of The Royal Grain, presented by Tony Barrell:
Tony Barrell: In 2006 King Bhumiphon celebrated 60 years on the throne of Thailand. It was a major national event that seems to be continuing, because everywhere you go here in Bangkok there are huge portraits of the king on giant billboards and the whole sides of tall buildings. There are pictures taken throughout his six decades on the throne, some where he’s a young man of 20-odd, always a keen photographer, with a camera around his neck, or in recent years with Queen Sikrit, both dressed in ceremonial yellow robes. And there’s one there over the road on the side of a building, near a fly-over, and it’s got a slogan as well. It says: ‘Honour the king: live a self-sufficient life’. King Bhumiphon seems to exert a special kind of influence in Thailand. Not overtly political, but there’s power there, and a special kind of moral authority.
Kwanchai Gomez: The King is a typical Thai. He likes rice. And he’s called to rice as we all are. He loves farmers because he thinks the farmers are his poor children who need a bit more attention than some other people, maybe. So he spends a lot of effort and time to teach farmers certain principles of rice farming. He also has a lot of activities that really aim to help farmers. He does rice experiments in his palace. He grows rice. If you go to his palace you will see lots of rice fields. He has developed projects like Rice Bank, where he thinks that farmers should not pay loan sharks interest. And so if you want money, you bring rice to the Rice Bank, they give you money. When you have enough money after you sell your rice, you go back and then repay it. And any interest that they charge you, you pay it in rice.
Tony Barrell: Dr Kwanchai Gomez of the Thai Rice Foundation, which comes under royal patronage. She is one of Thailand’s best-known figures. She always looks elegant, stylish and cool. But every Monday, like millions of other Thais, she goes to work in a yellow shirt. It’s the King’s colour with the royal crest on the pocket. It’s part of the ongoing homage to His Majesty. And some people in the public service here, they wear their yellow shirts every day –it’s a kind of uniform.