The search for a worthy heir to the throne poses challenges for the incumbent Thai king Maha Vajiralongkorn. 27 years ago he banished his two sons from his second marriage, Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse and his younger brother Chakriwat.
Now they have, like “nzz.ch“ reported, visiting her native country for the first time. In 1996 they were expelled from Thailand together with their mother, fled to the USA and lost all royal titles in the process. The palace did not comment on the current visit, but the Thai media did.
Thai media write about the visit of the expelled sons
The special thing about it: When it came to the two sons, the media was actually obliged to completely ignore the evicted, because the king did exactly that. Anything else would have been a violation of Article 112, which relates to insulting the king and can be punished with up to 15 years in prison.
The sons’ return comes at a time of political turmoil and uncertainty as Thailand awaits a new government following recent general elections. The progressive party “Move Forward” achieved surprising successes in the elections and is calling for a reform of the controversial Article 112. Nevertheless, public criticism of King Vajiralongkorn, who has been on the throne for almost seven years, is now present.
The successor to Thai King Rama has not yet been clarified
The dynastic difficulties are compounded by the uncertain succession to the throne. Princess Bajrakitiyabha from her first marriage is in poor health and is not a potential heir to the throne. The sons of the king’s second marriage, Vacharaesorn and Chakriwat, have lived in the United States since their expulsion in 1996. Princess Sirivannavari is considered too distant from the populace.
The best hope now lies with Prince Dipangkorn, the 18-year-old son of the king’s third marriage. But his future is also uncertain. He spent many years in Bavaria and is said to speak better German than Thai. He is thought to be autistic, although royals have never officially confirmed this. If his father does not father another successor in his fourth and so far childless marriage, Prince Dipangkorn is considered the most likely candidate.
Even if there is a suspicion that in this case, due to his health problems, he could only be used as a puppet. His half-brother Vacharaesorn would then run the affairs of state behind the scenes, provided that his father finally acknowledges the rejected son. At least the surprising visit of the two sons from exile is seen as a possible indication of this.