Thailand's king cleans up prison grounds in publicity stunt
Thailand’s king cleans up Bangkok Hilton prison grounds in publicity stunt with his royal consort (a year after he swept HER under the carpet by having her jailed)
- King Rama X and his consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi swept the prison floors
- The PR move was part of a new documentary filmed at the notorious prison
- Sineenat was jailed there last year for ‘trying to undermine the queen’
- She has since been freed and welcomed back into the royal fold
Thailand’s king has been seen sweeping the floors of the notorious Bangkok Hilton prison in a publicity stunt for a new documentary.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, known as Rama X, joined his royal consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, 35, for the ThaiPBS show at the prison in the country’s capital.
In 2019, the concubine was stripped of all her titles and imprisoned in the same Lard Yao prison she was now cleaning with the king after she was accused of trying to undermine the king’s official wife, Queen Suditha.
Thailand’s king has been seen sweeping the floors of the notorious Bangkok Hilton prison with his royal consort in a publicity stunt for a new documentary
The couple spoke to prisoners and guards at the Lard Yao prison where Sineenat was previously jailed
But in August, it was reported that Sineenat was freed and was no longer tainted by any wrongdoing, and the record should show she never lost her privileges.
Lard Yao is part of the maximum security Klong Prem Central Prison which houses 20,000 inmates.
It is known as the Bangkok Hilton, named after the fictional TV series which shows the brutal horrors of a Thai prison, and is considered one of the toughest prisons in the world because of its overcrowding and tough conditions.
In the new documentary the king is seen cleaning and helping the prisoners who are being released early and rehabilitated through hard work.
Sineenat was previously stripped of all her titles and imprisoned after she was accused of trying to undermine the king’s official wife, Queen Suditha (pictured)
A critic of the Thai monarchy shared leaked photos in December purporting to show Sineenat, consort to the Thai King. Several of the images show the woman baring her unshaven armpits (left and right), though it is unclear why
Many of the prisoners ended up in jail in the first place because of strict laws about being loyal to the king.
Sineenat’s appearance in the show comes after she was dramatically welcomed back into the royal fold in recent months.
But she made headlines over Christmas after a Thai activist released 1,400 leaked images of her, including nudes.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a prominent royal critic based in Japan, told MailOnline he was anonymously sent the images on an SD card in August along with a letter claiming they were hacked from Sineenat’s phone while she was in prison.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun said these images (left and right) were among 1,400 he was sent anonymously back in August. He suspects the images were leaked by one of Sineenat’s rivals within the royal palace to try and thwart her return to court
Suspecting they were sent by Sineenat’s rivals, possibly allies of the King’s official wife Queen Suthida trying to ‘sabotage’ her return to the royal court, Pavin says he has shared some of the photos in order to ‘show the other side of the monarchy’.
Some of the images purport to show the consort completely nude, but Pavin has chosen not to publish these photos. Several of the photos show her baring her unshaven armpits – though it is not clear why.
The same photos, apparently taken between 2012 and 2014, were also sent to other royal critics outside Thailand.
The former royal bodyguard was gifted the title of royal consort to mark the king’s 67th birthday last July.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn poses with royal noble consort Sineenat Bilaskalayani, also known as Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, in his Royal Office on August 26, 2019
Experience: Sineenat had trained as a pilot in Thailand and abroad, served in the King’s royal bodyguard unit, and in 2019 was awarded the rank of a major-general
It was the first time in nearly a century that a Thai monarch had taken a consort, after the king married his fourth wife Queen Suthida earlier in 2019.
Both Queen Suthida, 42, and Ms Sineenat have served as senior officers in palace security units.
But last October, less than three months after making Sineenat his royal consort, the King issued a command rescinding the appointment.
In a statement, he accused her of misbehaving by actively seeking to block Suthida’s appointment as queen in order to take the position herself, and saying that when she failed to block Suthida, her ‘ambitions and aspirations’ led her to continue to seek ways to promote herself.
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn talks to Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol (second left) as they sit with Queen Suthida (right) and royal noble consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi (left) in a golf buggy in Bangkok earlier this month
It came in a tense political period in which Thailand has seen an unprecedented number of demonstrations demanding reform of the monarchy.
Since her return from prison, Sineenat has been seen as a ‘PR tool’ for the King to regain popularity recently and often meets royalist supporters alone.
Her fall had been particularly stunning because only two months earlier, a palace website released scores of photos of her and the king, some in formal settings and others in markedly casual poses, such as taking part in flying, shooting and skydiving.
Others showed her and the king holding hands, unusually intimate photos for members of the royal family.
Suthida was previously a flight attendant with Thai Airways, while Sineenat was an army nurse.
The 68-year-old king has seven children by three previous marriages, all of which ended in divorce.
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