New documentary features King's time in Australia

New documentary features King's time in Australia

Visitors look closely at framed photos of His Majesty at the Australian embassy. A new documentary commemorating the King's time in Australia produced by the embassy will be aired on TV Pool until Thursday. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Visitors look closely at framed photos of His Majesty at the Australian embassy. A new documentary commemorating the King's time in Australia produced by the embassy will be aired on TV Pool until Thursday. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

A new documentary commemorating His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn's time in Australia produced by the Australian embassy in Bangkok will be aired on TV Pool until Thursday.

His Majesty lived in Australia for six and a half years between 1970 to 1976. The then-Crown Prince studied at the King's School in Sydney for two years and at the prestigious Royal Military College, Duntroon and trained with the elite Special Air Service Regiment for four years.

In late 2018, the Australian embassy in Bangkok obtained footage of the King's time in Australia from the National Archives of Australia and developed the footage into a documentary over the following years to highlight the shared history between the Thai royal family and Australia, Australian Ambassador to Thailand Allan McKinnon told the media in a press conference on Tuesday.

In addition to providing unique insights into His Majesty's time in Australia, the documentary covers the visit to Australia by King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother, in 1962 -- the first non-British monarchs to visit Australia.

The documentary also incorporates contemporary footage of the Thai-Australian relationship and interviews with the King's classmates during his time in Australia, including the current Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley, former governor-general, Sir Peter Cosgrove and other distinguished Australians.

The 18-minute documentary was divided into three parts for broadcasting on TV Pool after royal news running from Tuesday until Thursday.

The first part highlights the visit to Australia by King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit as well as His Majesty's early years in Australia. The second and last parts will focus on His Majesty's time at Duntroon and his graduation, respectively.

The full documentary will be released to the public on social media platforms of the Australian embassy in Bangkok on Friday.

Their Majesties the King and Queen as well as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Privy Councillors, cabinet ministers and senior officials visited the Australian embassy for the premiere of the documentary on Monday.

The event included a photographic exhibition depicting the historic visits to Australia by the Thai royal family.

"The presence of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty Queen Suthida [Bajrasudhabimalalakshana] speaks to the long and special friendship that Thailand and Australia share. It is a relationship marked by mutual respect and admiration, as well as deep practical cooperation," Mr McKinnon said.

The ambassador added that the documentary and the photo exhibition underpin the strength of the relationship between two countries, which was recently elevated to the status of a strategic partnership, signed by Gen Prayut, the Australian ambassador and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison last November.

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