The eccentric billionaire King of Thailand has a number of issues on his golden plate right now.
The German government has expressed concern that it is illegally ruling its country from a hotel in the Bavarian Alps, where it has spent much of the year living with a suite of 20 women. Protests at home calling for democratic reforms of the country and its power are gathering momentum.
And now his mistress has been targeted by a nude photo leak.
Some 1,400 selfies, many of which are sexually explicit, were reportedly stolen from Sineenat ‘Koi’ Wongvajirapakdi, 35, and sent to anti-monarchy activists, in what appears to be a very modern twist of age-old rituals of court rivalry and intrigue .
Koi was released earlier this year after spending ten months in a correctional facility. She had been accused of feuding with the Queen, but has now been declared “intact” and restored to her role as the official wife of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 68.
The alleged nude photos were sent earlier this year to prominent British commentator on Thai affairs, Andrew MacGregor Marshall, and Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai scholar who lives in Japan and is facing criminal charges in Thailand for his critiques of the monarchy.
Marshall told the Daily Beast he only decided to publicly disclose that he received the photos because Chachavalpongpun had done so. Chachavalpongpun posted several of the non-explicit images.
Marshall told the Daily Beast that in August – around the time Koi was welcomed back into the royal household – he received a letter, sent to an address he no longer lives, containing an SD card. The letter contained what it assumes to be a “bogus return address” which corresponded to German intelligence headquarters in Berlin.
“There were 1,400 photos of four different iPhones. Some of them were very intimate photos.
“I made the decision not to publish them. They had obviously been sent to me without his consent, but I also saw that it was like a faction palace game.
“Earlier in August my home in Scotland was monitored and a threat was left on the doorstep so it was a pretty worrying time and the last thing I wanted was to get dragged into the politics of the country. palace.
When Chachavalpongpun posted some of the photos and described the content of others, arguing that he was doing so to expose the fallacy of the image that the Thai royal family seeks to project, Marshall felt it was appropriate to support him and to say he had also received them.
“From the timing of all of this, this was clearly an attempt to sabotage his return to court,” Marshall said.
“In any royal court you have factional fighting. It is a notorious element of palace life. When you’re a monarch with a wife and queen and name a bride, that’s a recipe for vicious infighting.
Marshall notes that this is not the first time that compromising photos of the Thai royal family have appeared online, “There is an impressive amount of nude royal Thai flesh online,” he said.
The king divorced his third wife in 2014 after a video was released showing them giving a birthday cake to his poodle, Fufu, while she was wearing only a thong and courtiers crawled on the ground in front of them.
The existence of these photos will not be reported by local mainstream media in Thailand due to strict bans, but their topicality returns to the country via social media, especially Facebook.
Earlier this year, Thailand sought to convince Facebook to suppress a critical monarchy group that had more than one million members, but failed in its attempt.
Marshall posted a review of the photos in Thai on his Facebook page.
Thailand is in the throes of a deep recession sparked by COVID-19 and the collapse of the pivotal tourism trade.
Opponents of the royal family have grown emboldened in recent months as student rallies protesting against the establishment have seen their numbers increase.
Protesters recently started to protest by wearing crop tops exposing their stomachs to mock the King, who has been pictured wearing similar clothes at German airports and malls.
The protests were inflamed by reports of the king’s immense wealth, estimated by London Financial Times between $ 30 billion and $ 40 billion, after sovereign wealth funds were effectively placed under its direct control by the leaders of a successful 2014 coup.
He is believed to be the richest king in the world.
As the Daily Beast recently reported, Vajiralongkorn is also believed to have built up an extraordinary fleet of 38 jets and helicopters for the exclusive use of the Thai Royal Family.
Tales of his golden life at the Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmish-Partenkirchen, where his suite of 20 concubines who all received the same name of honor, have also damaged his national and international reputation.
Cables written by Eric John when he was US Ambassador to Bangkok, which were published by Wikileaks, detail the king’s odd behavior. Cables said he adored his pet dog, Fufu, and gave him the title of Chief Air Marshal. He allegedly took the dog to a formal dinner “dressed in formal evening wear with paw mittens” where he drank from guests’ water glasses.
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