This is the first public appearance of Their Royal Highnesses after their arrival in the kingdom on the same day. The statue is inaugurated in the garden of the residence of the Belgian ambassador. Serving as an advisor to King Rama V between 1892 and 1901, Rolin-Jaequemyns played a crucial role in Thailand’s reformation to modern western standards and was awarded the title Chao Phraya Abhai Raja, the highest distinction ever granted to a foreign national.
The Belgian diplomat played a major role during the Paknam Incident in July 1893 using his contacts in the top echelons of the European society to negotiate with the European nations, allowing Thailand to retain its independence. Out of all foreign advisers recruited to guide the modernization process during the reign of King Rama V, Rolin-Jaequemyns is involved most in the foundation of the kingdom's first Law school. His statue now stands on the campus of the Law Faculty of Thammasat University.
Their Royal Highnesses led an economic mission to visit sites in Bangkok and the Map Ta Phut Industrial zone in Rayong province during their trip. Today (on Monday), Princess Mathilde is slated to preside over the opening of the exhibition “Three colours of Belgium” at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.