Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, who may well be the next
Thai king, did attended Duntroon in the 1970s and indeed was this
correspondent’s next door neighbour in Canberra; that’s another story
for another day.

HRH however was more playboy orientated than scholarly and this threw
Duntroon educators into a flat spin when the prince’s parents made it
know they would be at his graduation ceremony – it’s not every day the
King and Queen of Thailand turn up.

But what to do? HRH didn’t get many marks, indeed he didn’t do too well
at all. Ever pragmatic, especially in those days as far as royalty was
concerned, the prince was awarded a specially minted medal – the first
and last – for a rather vague “achievement”.

Honour was achieved and royalty pleased. But, all’s not well that ends
well. The prince returned to Bangkok where his less than royal
shenanigans managed to outrage his highly esteemed and much adored
parents, his family and the majority of the Thai people.

He married a cousin and after a suitable period, divorced her and took
up with a woman with whom he has four children. The Thai media stays
out of this however insiders say his actions have caused a change in
Thai law to allow a woman to succeed the current king – Vajialongkorn
has no legitimate male heirs and is himself regarded as “unsuitable” to
mount the throne.

Peter Fray

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