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The King Prajadhipok Museum

Admission free

Address:2, Lan Lung Rd., Wat Sommanat, Pomprap Sattruphai, Bangkok 10100 Thailand

Tel:+6622803413

Service day:Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Service hours: 09:00-16:00

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Official description

A queen left this world 31 years ago, but is still remembered and revered by many Thais due to her sweet serenity and strength. She stood by her husband King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) during good and hard times. The new version of the "Biography of Her Majesty Queen Rambhai Barni Exhibition" was recently opened at the King Prajadhipok Museum near Phan Fah intersection.

Through the modern presentation, multimedia, models, old documents, photos and royal belongings, visitors will learn about the queen's life under the theme of "The Last Queen Under Absolute Monarchy And The First Under The Democratic Regime".

Restrictions

Alcoholic beverage, Strong smell food, Children, Pets, Slippers, Short pants, Cameras

Rating

Editorial Reviews

A Queen in Thais' hearts

A new exhibition gives a glimpse of the life and work of the last Thai queen under absolute monarchy

The 'Biography of Her Majesty Queen Rambhai Barni Exhibition'. Pichaya Svasti

A queen left this world 31 years ago, but is still remembered and revered by many Thais due to her sweet serenity and strength. She stood by her husband King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) during good and hard times. The new version of the "Biography of Her Majesty Queen Rambhai Barni Exhibition" was recently opened at the King Prajadhipok Museum near Phan Fah intersection.

Through the modern presentation, multimedia, models, old documents, photos and royal belongings, visitors will learn about the queen's life under the theme of "The Last Queen Under Absolute Monarchy And The First Under The Democratic Regime".

The first section shows the royal family tree. On Dec 20, 1904, she was born as MC Rambhai Barni, the daughter of HRH Prince Svasti Sobhana and Princess Abha Barni. Her paternal grandparents were King Rama IV and Princess Piyamabodi.

She stayed with her aunt HM Queen Saovabha Phongsri of King Rama V in the Grand Palace since the age of two. She studied modern subjects and three languages at Rajini School and learned skills for princesses in the palace. In 1914, she entered the rite of passage -- the Top Knot Cutting Ceremony.

Reflected by her old photos and her Siamese-style dolls, her childhood mostly involved with her stay in the palace and her duty to carry the queen's royal regalia. She had the chance to stay and play with other princesses when she visited her parents at their royal mansion. She was the only girl who grabbed a banana stalk and swam across a river with her younger brothers.

The next zone is entitled the "Princess of Sukhothai Palace", highlighted by a life-sized wedding photo, souvenir rings for guests and the marriage certificate of the princess and her groom HRH Prince Prajadhipok, the youngest son of King Rama V and HM Queen Savabha. They said "I do" in Thai at the ceremony held at the Bang Pa-in Palace, Ayutthaya, on Aug 26, 1918. They started their lives together at their Sukhothai Palace.

HRH Prince Prajadhipok became the seventh king of the Chakri Dynasty on Nov 26, 1925 and made his consort the queen about three months later on his coronation day. The king praised her for being loyal to him and taking good care of him in the times of happiness and illnesses.

King Rama VII and his queen consort's marriage certificate. Also on view are souvenir rings for their wedding guests. Pichaya Svasti

She was able to perform her duties as the queen consort properly and gracefully in Siam and abroad because she had learned Western traditions when being in Europe with her husband. Her friendly personality and proper dresses impressed many foreigners. Must-sees in this zone are some of her Thai-style and European attire.

They had a summer palace Suan Klai Kangwon in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and were staying there when the June 24, 1932 Siamese Revolution took place. The late queen's interview with the Thai Journalist Association in 1973 says "Some people told him to flee abroad while they were negotiating. His Majesty said he did not want to see fighting and losses of lives … He told them that he had to seek my opinion on whether to fight, to flee or to return because I had to be with him. I replied I shall not run even though I would die. His Majesty then said he would go back to Bangkok."

The rest of the exhibition is about the king's changed status as a constitutional monarch, his Constitution granting on Dec 10, 1932, their departure from Siam in 1933, the king's abdication on March 2, 1934, their lives in England, and the king's death on May 30, 1941.

Walking further, you will learn about HM Queen Rambhai Barni's role as a Red Cross volunteer in England, during World War II. "You should enlist as a soldier. I would enlist if I were a man," she said.

In 1949, she brought back to Thailand the ashes of King Rama VII. After her brief stay at Sra Prathum Palace in Bangkok, she moved to Suan Ban Kaew, her new home in Chanthaburi, on June 20, 1950.

You will see old photos, her farming tools, handmade mats and handbags, which tells much about her contribution to local people during her 18-year stay at Suan Ban Kaew. She ran an experimental farm to pass on successful new farming methods to villagers and established a sedge mat factory to enhance the quality of mats and develop new products. She also improved the provincial hospital later renamed Phra Pokklao Hospital.

She gave Suan Ban Kaew Palace to the Ministry of Education in 1972 when she moved back to her Sukhothai Palace. Suan Ban Kaew became Rambhai Barni Rajabhat University.

In Bangkok, HM Queen Rambhai Barni regularly performed her royal duties. She died of heart failure on May 22, 1984, in her bedroom at Sukhothai Palace. A small photo of her husband, which was always with her, and her alarm clock are shown at the exhibition.

The next section is about the royal cremation for the late queen, as well as her portraits captured by HM King Prajadhipok and famous American photographer Ira L. Hill. The last section showcases that queen's foreign royal decorations. Outside the museum building, you can take a look at her Austin Sheerline Saloon A125 and Volkswagen VW 411 L cars.

In all, this new exhibition is a proof of HM Queen Rambhai Barni's fruitful life and work to improve the living of the Thai people.


 

The King Prajadhipok Museum is open 9am-4pm from Tuesdays to Sundays. Admission is free. Call 02-280-3413/4 ext 111 or 105.

The Queen's life at Suan Ban Kaew. Pichaya Svasti

This photo of King Rama VII was always with the queen. Pichaya Svasti

Location

2, Lan Lung Rd., Wat Sommanat, Pomprap Sattruphai, Bangkok 10100 Thailand

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