Rare photos of Thai king’s consort released

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49474422

Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, pictured here piloting a fighter jet, was appointed the king's royal consort in JulyImage copyright
EPA

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Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, pictured here piloting a fighter jet, was appointed the king’s royal consort in July

Rare photographs of the king of Thailand’s newly anointed consort have been released by the palace, reportedly causing its website to crash.

The images show Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, 34, piloting a fighter jet, wearing combat fatigues and aiming a weapon on a firing range.

A consort is a title given by a monarch to his or her spouse or companion.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 67, bestowed the title on Sineenat in July, two months after his marriage to the queen.

Sineenat is the first woman to hold such a position in almost a century, AFP news agency reports.

Image copyright
Reuters

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Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi taking part in the Royal Cremation ceremony of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej

The website hosting the photos went down after receiving high volumes of traffic, according to Reuters news agency.

Her biography has been published alongside the images.

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn holding a poodle next to royal consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi

In a statement, Thailand’s palace said the king had “ordered the creation of a royal biography” for Sineenat, who is a trained pilot, nurse and bodyguard.

Queen Suthida – a 41-year-old former flight attendant and deputy head of his bodyguard unit – is King Vajiralongkorn’s long-term partner and has been seen with him in public for many years.

He ascended to the throne after the death of his father in 2016.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi (C) pictured with the king (L)

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi aims a weapon at a firing range

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Media captionThe king is seen pouring sacred water on the head of Queen Suthida when they were married in May

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