Royal Son’s Return to Thailand After 30 Years in Exile.


Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol’s Return to Thailand

The return to Thailand, after almost 30 years of exile, of one of the repudiated sons of King Vajiralongkorn has rekindled the telenovela about the monarch’s succession. In a video shared on social media, Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol, 42, is seen arriving at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport where, despite being out of the country for almost three decades, he was recognized and greeted by several of his countrymen. Additionally, the prince visited an institution for children supported by the royal family, which seems to strengthen the idea that there has been a rapprochement with his father.

Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol’s Family History

Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol was born in 1981 from the marriage of the king (then heir) with his second wife, the Thai actress Sujarinee Vivacharawongse, and, like his mother and his four brothers, was forced into exile from Thailand in 1996 after the current king accused his wife of adultery. Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol and his family then moved to the United States, where he has worked as a lawyer so far. His unexpected return to Thailand has led to speculation that his father is thinking of naming him his designated heir. The monarch has an 18-year-old son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, who has so far been considered the most likely successor, as he is the only male child the monarch has not repudiated, but international media have reported that he may be unfit to rule. In recent years, there has also been talk of the king’s intention to choose his favorite daughter, Princess Bajrakitiyabha, as his heir, but in December she had a heart problem and lost consciousness, and so far there is no news of an improvement in her health.

Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol’s Profile

Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol has an elder brother, Juthavachara, who is also the king’s firstborn and would therefore have been his logical heir if the members of this branch of the royal family had not been repudiated, but he does not have such a high public profile as Vacharaesorn. The latter prince has spent most of his life in the United States, but regularly attends Thai cultural events in the United States and meets international political and economic personalities. The king has already reconciled with another repudiated daughter, Princess Sirivannavari, Vacharaesorn’s sister, who last January was the protagonist of an ostentatious photo shoot for her daughter’s birthday. In a beautiful photo shoot for her 36th birthday (a very symbolic age in Thailand), the king clearly said he is open to giving a second chance.


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