Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn & Princess Srirasmi Akrapongpreecha
Thailand’s Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn has asked the government to strip his wife, Princess Srirasmi Akrapongpreecha’s family of the royal name he bestowed on them when he married her.
This comes after seven of her close relatives were arrested in a purge of officials allegedly involved in corruption.
Princess Srirasmi Akrapongpreecha is Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s third wife, the couple married in 2001.
The move is expected to be a first step to divorce. He was already known to be estranged from the princess, although they continued to attend official functions together.
The princess’s uncle, a senior police general, was arrested over accusations of amassing vast wealth through smuggling and gambling rackets. Four of her siblings and two other relatives have also been held.
The office of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn has now sent a letter to the interior ministry ordering her family to be stripped of the royal name he bestowed on them when he married her.
The dramatic downfall of Princess Srirasmi comes during the failing health of 86 year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
As the Crown Prince’s wife, she would have been expected to become Queen when he succeeds his father, a potentially very powerful position given the exalted status of the monarchy in Thailand.
The world’s longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumibol has been on the throne in Thailand since 1946.
Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn has been married three times, his first wife was Soamsawali Kitiyakara, with whom he was married from 1977 – 1991, they have one child Princess Bajrakitiyabha who was born in 1987. He married second wife, Yuvadhida Polpraserth from 1994 – 1996 they had five children, four sons and one daughter, Prince Juthavachara Mahidol, Prince Vacharaesorn Mahidol, Prince Chakriwat Mahidol, Prince Vatcharawee Mahidol and Princess Sirivannavari Nariratanaand and the Prince’s last wife was to Srirasmi Suwadee from 2001 – 2014, they had one son, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti.