Early Life and Education

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua is the only son of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. At the age of 20, he was proclaimed Crown Prince, the third for the Chakri Dynasty. He has been the King of Thailand since October 2016.

Early Life and Education

July 28, 1952

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua was born on this day. He is the only son of the late King Bhumihol and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.

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The sky was overcast with rain clouds on the morning of July 28, 1952, bringing a delightful expectation to people in Thailand who had been waiting for rainfall after a long period of drought.

At about 9am, speculation was rife with another exalted possibility that Her Majesty Queen Sirikit was about to give birth to her second child.

The spacious Royal Plaza in front of the Dusit Palace started to fill up with expectant crowds. Members of the armed forces prepared for shotgun salutes while musicians advanced into positions to render a celebratory tune as soon as news about the royal birth arrived.

His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was on hand with a camera and voice recorder to capture the memorable moment at Ambara Villa, according to a book by MR Sumonchart Swasdikul, published by the Fine Arts Department to celebrate the crown prince’s investiture in 1972.

“At 5.45pm, the prince was born. At the very same time, the rain that has been absent throughout the season started to come down. It was as if the sky recognised his birth,’’ MR Sumonchart wrote.

As soon as the birth of the prince was announced, the royal anthem was played and gun salutes fired. The waiting crowds roared with delight. The prince and heir to the throne of the Chakri Dynasty was born.


The King starts his education at age four at Chitralada School in Dusit Palace.

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When the prince was one year old, the then Supreme Patriarch gave the prince his first name, Vajiralongkorn, derived from “Vajirayana”, King Mongkut’s name when he served as a monk, and “Alongkorn” from the name of King Chulalongkorn Rama V.


The King furthered his elementary studies in the United Kingdom at King’s Mead School in Sussex and completed his secondary education at Millfield School in Somerset


He enrolled in the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in Canberra, Australia, and graduated with the rank of lieutenant and a degree in liberal arts.

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The then Crown Prince’s interest in military affairs was enhanced with more training programmes in unconventional warfare and reconnaissance courses in the UK, the United States and Australia.

With a passion for flying, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua was trained to become a qualified military and helicopter pilot. He later received a commercial pilot’s licence and earned his wings as a Boeing 737-400 pilot in 2005.

December 28, 1972

VDO:Thai Film Archive Page

At the auspicious time of 12:23pm, the prince was proclaimed the Crown Prince – the third in the Chakri Dynasty – amid the pomp and pageantry of a centuries-old tradition at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

November 6, 1978

His Majesty the King entered the monkhood at the ordination hall of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

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He was given the monastic name of “Vajiralongkornno” and went on to stay at Wat Bowon Niwet Vihara where he devoted himself to Buddhist studies for 15 days.

Over the years, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua has attended numerous religious ceremonies belonging to both Buddhism and other religious traditions. Among them were the Mawlid festivals to celebrate the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a Quran recital contest held at the central mosque in Pattani in November last year.

February 13, 1984

The then Crown Prince becomes commander of the King’s Own Bodyguard Regiment