The government has announced that the royal cremation ceremony for HRH Princess Benjaratana will be on April 9, and as such it has been declared an official government holiday. The official mourning period will be for 3 days, from April 8-10. Flags throughout the kingdom will be flown at half mast, and all entertainment venues are requested to postpone performances until after the 10th. As per government order, Pattaya City government and Pattaya Police are requesting cooperation from all entertainment venues to refrain from selling alcohol from April 8 – 10.
Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda Sirisobhabannavadi of Thailand was the only daughter of the late King Vajiravudh of Thailand. She was a first cousin of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and third cousin with King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
Her Royal Highness Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda Sirisobhabannavadi of Thailand (24 November 1925 – 27 July 2011)
Princess Bejaratana was born on November 24, 1925 in the Royal Grand Palace, Bangkok, as the only child of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) and Princess Suvadhana. After having seen his only child for a day, the King died, on November 25, 1925. Her uncle, King Prajadhipok (Rama VII), performed the naming ceremony for the princess on December 30.
The princess and her mother moved to Suan Hongsa Villa at Dusit Palace where she received her education from a private tutor. They then moved in with Queen Sri Savarindira (the Queen Dowager) during the war, and the princess attended Rajani School until the age of 12. The princess and her mother moved to England where she received further education as well as medication for her illness. They first stayed at Fairhill Villa in Surrey, before finally moving to Brighton.
In November 1957, mother and daughter moved back to Thailand. They bought a piece of land on Sukhumvit Road Soi 38, and build the Ruenruedi Villa Palace. Once the princess had settled into her new life in Thailand, she proceeded to undertake her Royal Duties representing the Thai Royal Family. Her special interests have been in connection to education, public health, Buddhism, the soldiers and police stationed at Thailand ‘s borders, and general public welfare.
Princess Bejaratana was known privately to be a very gifted individual, especially with numbers. She had the ability to calculate which day of the week for any dates presented to her, promptly and without any hesitation, as well as to remember the birthdays of all individuals who have been presented to her.
Near the end of her life due to her age and health she had lately cut down on her Royal duties, but once in a while, she still did work related to her late father.
Princess Bejaratana died on 27 July 2011 at 4.37 p.m. at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok aged 85. Her Royal Funeral will take place at Sanam Luang in Bangkok.