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Inside the Lavish Life of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn

The royal has been called a playboy king by international media.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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News about Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn hasn't stopped swirling since he was reported to have spent quarantine in Germany with a harem of 20 women back in March. Now, according to reports, the royal was secretly rushed to Bangkok Hospital after a bodyguard tested positive for COVID-19. But, both are just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the 68-year-old royal.

Here's what you should know about Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn who has been dubbed the playboy king.

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King Maha Vajiralongkorn had a typical royal childhood.

Born on July 28, 1952, King Maha Vajiralongkorn is the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. He started his education at the Chitralada School in Dusit Palace. Afterward, he spent most of his time abroad at schools in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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When he turned 20 years old, he was proclaimed a crown prince. From then on, he went back to Thailand to serve at the Royal Thai Armed Forces, as well as taking on official visits representing his father the king.

He ascended the throne in 2016... but not without surprises.

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After his ascension, he officially became His Majesty King Rama X—the 10th monarch of the royal house of Chakri. On that same day, he made a member of his personal security, Suthida Vajiralongkorn, a general. His coronation took place in May 2019, and it cost 1 billion baht (approximately P1.6 billion). The grand affair stretched three days, and featured 1,300 people and elephants. He surprised the palace, however, three days before the coronation by marrying the general he appointed.

His family life is seriously complicated.

Queen Suthida, his current wife, is also his fourth marriage. The king first married his first cousin Soamsawali Kitiyakara in 1977. The couple had one daughter together, but got divorced after the then-Crown Prince started living with actress Yuvadhida Polpraserth.

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It was then that he married Yuvadhida Polpraserth. She gave birth to four sons and a daughter. His second marriage didn't end well, however. The royal accused his then-wife of adultery with an air marshal. She then fled Thailand for the U.K. with her children. Not one to give up a fight, the prince took their daughter back, and stripped his wife of the diplomatic passports and royal titles.

In July 2019, he named Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi his Royal Noble Consort.

The two married shortly after. Three months later, the king backtracked on the title by stripping his wife of all titles and ranks as she had reportedly been disrespectful to Queen Suthida. Over a year later, on September 2020, the king restored Wongvajirapakdi's titles and married her once again saying she "is not tarnished." He continued, "Henceforth, it will be as if she had never been stripped of her military ranks or royal decorations."

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The king's many controversies have spread through Facebook.

The royal has been plagued by several photographs that show his penchant for racerback crop tops. The king has been photographed in tank tops while roaming a German shopping center, and another time he was pictured in Munich wearing a white crop top and a fake tattoo sleeve.

The monarch has threatened to sue Facebook over the photos.

His most recent and most reported move was his decision to quarantine in Germany back in March.

While Thailand was experiencing a rapid number of coronavirus cases, it was reported that Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn was self-isolating in Germany. According to the New York Post, he and his entourage of 20 women allegedly booked a whole hotel floor.

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His escapades have contributed to the 2020 Thai protests.

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Since February, students and activists have carried on the first wave Thai protests against the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. In August, however, student groups added the monarchy into the mix by demanding to reform the political system. The act broke a long taboo of criticizing the monarchy. Soon after, military forces and riot police were deployed, while mass arrests were made against protestors.

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