Nation hosts prayers for Princess, Royal Family visits

PHOTO: Princess Bajrakitiyabha is receiving Royal visits and global prayers. (via Wikimedia)

Concrete information is hard to find in Thailand about Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendira Debyavati but the nation has been praying for her health after heart problems caused her to lose consciousness on Wednesday. Members of the Royal Family have been visiting her at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital since her hospitalisation.

On Friday, Their Royal Majesty King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana paid a visit to the princess at the hospital to check on her well-being. Later the same day, Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya also checked in on her ailing step-sister in a separate visit.

Flowers were also delivered to the hospital by representatives of her three aunts, Princess Ubolratana, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Krom Phra Srisavangavadhana.

Princess Bajrakitiyabha is the eldest daughter of King Vajiralongkorn and, though never formally named, is thought to be next in line for the throne. She has had an impressive life and career, earning a PhD in law from the esteemed American Cornell University. She was appointed as a UN Women’s National Ambassador to Thailand in September 2008. The princess has fought against violence towards women and advocated for the needs of female prisoners and their children.

The princess collapsed around 6.20pm in the Pak Chong district of the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima while training her dogs. Her beloved pet dogs were scheduled to be a part of the Thailand Working Dog Championship, an event running through Monday, organised by the Royal Thai Army.

She was brought to the local Pak Chong Nana Hospital for immediate first-aid treatment. Royal physicians oversaw her care from the start. She was later airlifted back to Bangkok to King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital once her condition was stable.

Important political and social figures and agencies have come together to offer well-wishing messages of support and take part in widespread prayers. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife visited the hospital, which has set up an area in their Bhumisiri Mangkhalanusorn Building for people to leave flowers and write messages to the princess.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan also visited, as well as Paetongtarn Shinawatra, polling favourite for future prime minister and daughter of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The leader of the Pheu Thai Party Cholnan Srikaew also came to leave get-well messages, as did many other members of parliament, cabinet ministers, and other politicians.

Meanwhile, a chanting session was held in Bangkok at Wat Ratchapradit Sathit Maha Simaram by the Department of Religious Affairs and attended by Culture Minister Itthipol Kunplome. Throughout Thailand and the rest of the world, Buddhist temples were holding similar events.

The Department of Religious Affairs has requested that similar counterparts for all denominations join together to hold religious ceremonies in support of the princess. All Christians in Thailand were requested to include her in daily prayers by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand. Muslims were asked to hold daily prayers by provincial Islamic committees, on orders from the Sheikhul Islam Office.

Members of the public in general can also send messages of support using the website

Thailand News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.