the Royal Couple’s Golden Anniversary
His Majesty King Adulyadej Bhumibol The Great first met His future Queen in Paris in 1947, when she was an extremely beautiful teen-aged girl. The daughter of the Thai Ambassador in London, she was in Paris to study French and classical music. M.R. Sirikit could not have been more aptly named - Sirikit meaning beauty and honor. The 20-year-old King-to-be was enraptured by Sirikit whom he plied with music and poetry, composing a waltz in her honor entitled “I Dream of You”.
The lyrics for that blues number which Bhumibol dedicated to his bride-to-be, “In the kingdom of my dreams, you are my queen... Please make my dreams come true,” were soon to be real. The couple were married in Bangkok on 28 April 1950. At the auspicious time of 10:24, chosen by the Buddhist Astrologers, the 22-year-old King of Thailand married the love of his life, M.R. Sirikit Kitiyakara.
Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit painted by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Not even a King, however, can escape bureaucracy and, after paying the 10-baht marriage fee, the young couple received a traditional blessing from his grandmother, Sawang Vadhana, who anointed them and sprinkled them with holy water which had been blessed daily by four Buddhist monks for more than 160 years.
The young newlyweds, like any other just-married couple, ‘escaped’ to the privacy of their honeymoon hideaway - in their case the Klai Kangwol (Far from Worry) Palace on the Western Gulf, hardly pausing to examine their wedding gifts from many of the world’s leaders.
A week later, on the fifth of May 1950, Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned King, the Ninth Rama of the Chakri Dynasty. Towards the end of the splendid coronation ceremonies, the young King elevated his new bride Sirikit to become Queen Somdej Phranang Chao.
Thailand’s King, the world’s longest-reigning Monarch, and His lovely Queen are known universally as the quintessence of devotion, dedication and tireless application to the development and well-being of each and every one of Their subjects.
The benevolence His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen have bestowed on Their subjects, including those living in remote rural areas, explains the love They have earned from Their people.
Commemorative Bank Notes being issued
On May 8, the Bank of Thailand will be issuing special commemorative banks notes to celebrate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Their Majesties the King and Queen on April 28, 2000.
The Royal Wedding
The collectable notes will be issued in the nominations of 50 baht and 500,000 baht. 999,999 of the 50 baht notes will be printed and sold for 200 baht each. 1,998 of the 500,000 baht notes will be issued and sold for one million baht each.
The 50 baht notes will be made available at all offices of the Bank of Thailand in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Khon Kaen and Songkla, as well as at the Provincial Treasury Office and all branches of Krung Thai Bank and the Government Savings Bank. Anyone wishing to buy a special commemorative 50 baht note must bring an identity card and a copy. Only one 50 baht note will be sold to each person.
Bookings for the 500,000 baht bank notes begin on April 28 at the Bank of Thailand headquarters and at its regional offices in Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Songkla. An initial deposit of 200,000 baht must be made for notes with ordinary serial numbers, and a deposit of 500,000 baht must be made for notes with special numbers. The balance is due on May 8 when the notes can be picked up.
All proceeds will be presented to Their Majesties the King and Queen.
Both commemorative bank notes are similar in design, measuring 12.6 by 20.5 cm, nearly the same size as the bank notes used during the reign of King Rama V. The notes will be yellow and blue, representing the colors of the birth dates of Their Majesties the King and Queen. The paper used is slightly thicker than ordinary bank notes, and are sealed with a gold foil engraving featuring the image of Their Majesties.
The front of the notes portray Their Majesties in casual outfits, their emblems and a picture taken on Coronation Day, May 5, 1950, when His Majesty anointed his bride and elevated Her to the full rank of Her Majesty.
The reverse side on the notes features a picture of the Royal Family and several pictures of Their Majesties the King and Queen.
The security thread is printed with “Long Live Their Majesties”, and is twice as wide as ordinary bank notes. The watermark portrays the first picture ever taken of the Royal Couple together.