Loving Mother of the Thai Nation
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother is the daughter of H.H. Prince Chandaburi Suranath (M.C. Nakkhat Mongkol Kitiyakara) and his consort Mom Luang Bua Kitiyakara (nee Mom Luang Bua Snidvongs). Prince Chandaburi Suranath was the third son of H.R.H. Prince Chandaburi Suranath and H.S.H. Princess Absarasman Kitiyakara.
She was born on August 12, 1932. The year 1932 is a significant one: it was the year when constitutional monarchy was introduced into Thailand. Her father was a prominent and capable Major-General in the Thai Army at the time of the constitutional change. He left the army and went to serve as First Secretary at the Thai Legation in Washington D.C. As HM the Queen was then still a little child, she remained in Bangkok in the charge of her relatives. She did not see her parents again until their return home.
She attended the Kindergarten class at Rajini School. But subsequently went to St. Francis Xavier School at Samsen District in Bangkok in order to be nearer to home. Her father later on became Thai Minister to France, to Denmark and ultimately Ambassador to the Court of St. James. Her Majesty accompanied him and continued her general education in the three countries and lastly in Switzerland.
It was while her father was stationed in Paris that she first met His Majesty (the late) King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was then studying in Switzerland but went now and then to Paris. The chance meeting in Paris ripened into friendship and understanding. When His Majesty met with a serious motor car accident in Geneva, Switzerland and had to stay in a hospital at Lausanne, Her Majesty was a frequent visitor. When His Majesty was well again and left the hospital, he was graciously pleased to arrange for Her Majesty to continue her studies at “Riante Rive”, a boarding school in Lausanne.
On July 19, 1949 Their Majesties were quietly engaged in Lausanne. On March 24, 1950, Their Majesties landed in Bangkok by ship after a long absence. On April 28 of the same year, the Royal Wedding took place at Padumawan Palace before the Queen Grandmother. As a democratic King and Queen, Their Majesties signed their names in the Registry Book of Marriages. His Majesty then crowned HM the Queen in conformity with Thai tradition.
Their Majesties had four children, Princess Ubolratana, born on April 5, 1951, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, born on July 28, 1952, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, born on April 2, 1955 and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Krom Phra Srisavangavadhana, born on July 4, 1957.
Their Majesties took great care in the education of their children in order to prepare them to meet the various duties which they had to undertake in later life. His Majesty, with the entire concurrence of Her Majesty, set up a school in the compound of Chitralada Villa. The school was established and registered in accordance with the law in November 1958. There were about 78 children in the school. The classmates of the Royal children were sons and daughters of ordinary people of various vocations.
Her Majesty has always been very devoted to her children. During their younger days, she used to spend as much time with them as her duties would allow, and kept close supervision on all their activities. When Her Majesty was in the United States of America during the State Visit with His Majesty in 1960, a TV representative asked her what her favorite hobby was. The reply was: “Looking after my children!”
Humanitarian and Social Welfare
Her Majesty has performed many public functions. She became President of the Thai Red Cross Society on August 12, 1956, and her keenness in the work built up her popularity and aroused enthusiasm in the public for the cause of the Red Cross. In her role as Honorary President of the Thai Red Cross, HM Queen Sirikit always gave her direct support to people in need.
When His Majesty entered the monkhood in 1956, Her Majesty became Regent during that period. She gave the oath of allegiance before the National Assembly. She performed her duties so well and so satisfactorily that, on the recommendation from the Government, Her Majesty was given the title of higher distinction. She became “Somdech Phraborom Rajininath.” Such a title is given to a Queen who has ably performed the function of the Head of State on behalf of the King, when he was absent from the realm or for some reason was unable to exercise his function temporarily.
The SUPPORT Foundation
The Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques, (SUPPORT) was founded in 1976 under Their Majesty’s Royal Patronage and Chairmanship. The promotional work of the foundation has been recognized as highly effective, particularly since SUPPORT provides outlets for local wares and handicrafts from all regions of the Kingdom.
In 1979, the Support Foundation Chitralada Training Center was set up to teach Thai arts and crafts to children of landless villagers. Through this project, Her Majesty succeeded in preserving some dying arts. At the present time, there are hundreds of thousands of poor and needy families around the country whose livelihoods have been much improved through Her Majesty’s SUPPORT projects.
While improving the livelihood of her people through the SUPPORT Project, Her Majesty also worked simultaneously on the conservation of natural resources and the environment projects which have enabled people to live in harmony with nature. Forests that had been ravaged have been replanted with useful trees and medicinal plants. Watersheds have been restored and preventive measures put in place against forest fires.
On this most auspicious occasion, the management and staff of the Pattaya Mail Media Group join the Thai people and the many others from around the world to present our loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother and best wishes for a most Happy Birthday and a continued long life on the occasion of her 87th birthday Monday, August 12.