INGRATITUDE, MISBEHAVIOUR and disloyalty. These were among the failings of Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi detailed in a royal statement on October 21st. Apparently the mistress of King Maha Vajiralongkorn wanted to “elevate herself to the same state as the queen”. The former army nurse also dared to issue commands and show disobedience to her superiors. She has been stripped of all titles and honours.
At one level, Ms Sineenat’s sudden fall from grace is stunning. It was only on the king’s birthday in July that he made her Thailand’s first officially designated royal mistress in almost a century. At another level, it is typical: the king has frequent, dramatic romantic bust-ups, with dire consequences for the women concerned.
The designation of an official “royal noble consort” shocked Thailand. The elaborate ceremony saw Ms Sineenat prostrate herself before the king and Queen Suthida Tidjai, a former flight-attendant whom he married in May. The silk and jewels on display were a far cry from the crop tops and fake tattoos that king and consort have been snapped wearing before. More official photographs of Ms Sineenat in camouflage and in cockpits appeared in August. The website hosting them crashed as curious Thais flocked to it.
Queen Suthida is the king’s fourth wife. He divorced and humiliated his first, a cousin...