Connect with us

Thai Life

Looking Back: When two kings sat on the throne – Part II

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: In my last column, I spoke about Prince Mongkut’s journey before taking the throne.

When Prince Mongkut was 47, he left the monkhood to reign as king. There was a problem, however, as Prince Chutamani had an equally legitimate claim to succeed to the throne. At the time of King Rama III’s death, some nobles claimed that Prince Chutamani was, in fact, the heir presumptive. However, because Prince Mongkut was the older brother, his claim was stronger.

Prince Mongkut was crowned King of Siam on April 2, 1851. He took the title of Phrabat Somdet Phra Chomklao Chaoyuhua, Rama IV. In order to avoid conflict with his younger brother, Prince Chutamani, King Rama IV did something quite unprecedented in Siamese history. He allowed the prince to ascend to the throne as the ‘second king’ of Siam. He was asked to assume the title of Phrabat Somdet Phra Pinklao Chaoyuhua, which was equivalent to that of the king himself.

In the past, the position of vice-king, or Uparaj of Siam, was usually bestowed to the king’s brother. In the line of succession, the Uparaj was therefore also the heir presumptive. But it was always recognized that the Uparaj was second to the king.

Prince Chutamani, however, was not bestowed the title of Uparaj. He was asked by his brother to take on a title equivalent to Rama IV’s, a crowned king of Siam. For the first time in Siamese history, there were two crowned kings of Siam.

Some historians speculate that King Mongkut was a firm believer in astrology. According to astrological predictions, Prince Chutamani’s astrological signs showed that he would be crowned king as well. It was therefore this belief that led to Chutamani’s coronation and elevation to become Siam’s second king during the reign of King Rama IV. Others speculate that this was a clever move to appease Prince Chutamani and discourage him from challenging his brother’s position.

There is no doubt however that the coronation of King Pinklao strengthened the relationship between the two brothers, a relationship that would remain peaceful throughout King Mongkut’s reign. In practice, King Mongkut was the chief ruler of the kingdom, but King Pinklao was influential in foreign affairs due to his close ties with western diplomats.

King Pinklao maintained his own private army, as well as a navy of several modern ships. His palace became known as the ‘front palace’ and its authorities greatly expanded. King Pinklao died on January 7, 1866, predeceasing his elder brother by two years.

— Anand Singh


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism2 hours ago

TAT announces 1,500 travellers arriving in Phuket July 1

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

5 million Moderna vaccines for Thailand, half of expectation

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 3: Are countries helping Thailand?

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 2: Will your country give a vaccine?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Lockdown for BKK? Demonstrations back on, Pathum Thani shooter arrested

Thailand8 hours ago

Myth busted: Drinking alcohol does not kill Covid-19 – VIDEO

Phuket9 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu, again

Tourism9 hours ago

List of countries by Covid-19 risk level, classified by Thailand’s DDC

Thailand9 hours ago

Legalised marijuana up next? Courts get closer to legalising kratom

Phuket10 hours ago

Phuket police raids nab suspects for allegedly having guns, drugs, kratom

World11 hours ago

Antivirus legend John McAfee apparent suicide in Spanish prison

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 4,108 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests12 hours ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8