True to form, parts of the British media have not been shy with critical commentary about the foreign royals who joined Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. Along with Mswati III of Swaziland and Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has a spot on The Independent‘s “roll of dishonour”.
A few quick observations:
- The Thai authorities will, perhaps, be content that they are not getting the most scrutiny: the invitation to the King of Bahrain has come in for consistently negative attention. Thailand and Bahrain have, curiously enough, been cultivating closer ties in recent times.
- Those of you intrigued by this unusual gathering of royals from around the world will want to know that the image for this post is sourced from here. You can click on it for a bigger version and zoom in on Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, who is third from the right in the back row. A collection of excellent photos of the jubilee festivities is provided by The Daily Mail. It includes one of Princess Srirasmi.
- For those of you scouring the photo for his smile, I should also note that King Jigme of Bhutan was absent. Apparently the royal families of Bhutan, Oman and Cambodia were the only ones that did not attend. Long-time New Mandala readers may remember the outpouring of affection that Bhutan’s then Crown Prince Jigme received when he attended the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s reign back in 2006.
- A photo of that grand occasion in Bangkok is available here. As far as I can recall, there was no critical commentary about the foreign royals in the Thai press…although there was this mini-scandal.