King of Thailand Dismisses Royal Consort Accused of Disloyalty

King of Thailand Dismisses Royal Consort Accused of Disloyalty

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The official royal consort of the king of Thailand was stripped of her title just months after she was given the rare designation, accused in a statement from the palace on Monday of disloyalty and trying to supplant the queen.

The king, who ascended the throne in 2016 on the death of his father, had appointed a royal consort less than three months ago, on his 67th birthday, and only two months after he married his fourth wife. The royal consort title had not been used in nearly a century.

The statement, posted in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on behalf of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, described the ousted consort, Sineenat Bilaskalayani, 34, as “ambitious” and acting “in all respects to be equal to the Queen.”

The former consort was a major general, and was also stripped of her military rank, decorations and position. She had previously been known as Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, which means loyal to King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

In August, the website of the Royal Household Bureau posted dozens of photos of her, including one of her in sitting an airplane cockpit wearing a camouflage-printed sports bra and another aiming an assault rifle while clad in combat gear and holding the king’s pet poodle.

The king is seldom seen in public and is said to spend much of his time in Germany, where he maintained a residence before ascending the throne. He is one of the world’s richest men with a fortune estimated to be worth at least $30 billion.

The consort appointment came soon after the announcement that King Maha Vajiralongkorn had married his fourth wife, Queen Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya, a former flight attendant.

Both Queen Suthida and then-General Sineenat participated in the king’s coronation, a $30-million affair that took place in May.

But after the king and queen married, Ms. Sineenat pressured the king not to install the queen but to make her queen instead, according to the palace statement, which was also read on the evening news.

Other offenses included being “insubordinate to the king and queen,” showing a “lack of gratitude” and “causing the royal household staff to be discordant.”

Ms. Sineenat graduated from the Army Nursing College in 2008. As a major general, she had been a member of the king’s bodyguard corps.

As a colonel, she commanded an honor guard at the 2017 cremation of the late king, Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Many Thais see the monarch as a demigod. And Thailand has a strict lese-majeste law that makes it a crime to insult the king, queen, heir apparent or regent. Such a crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, making many Thais refrain from discussing the monarchy in public.

Ryn Jirenuwat contributed reporting from Chiang Rai, Thailand.

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