This will not be a public story in Thailand because of the fear journalists have about lese majeste. That’s even when the story is just about a bit of overseas shopping by the eldest son of the Thai king and heir apparent.
Both the The Telegraph and a local website in Hampshire, England, have stories of a small buying spree by Prince Vajiralongkorn and his consort. And his request for cream tea.
The White Lion Antique Centre in Hartley Wintney was closed to the public as Vajiralongkorn and Srirasmi had their scones and bought a bit of the store’s inventory. The story states the couple bought “300 items of bone china.” That’s be just a bit of change for the scion of the world’s richest monarchy.
Apparently, the “prince and his staff had flown into nearby Farnborough in a private 737 jet on June 20 for a holiday in the UK and had chosen the shop because it also served his favourite scones, strawberry jam and cream teas.”
Of course, it remains to be confirmed that the 737 is a “private” plane. Whatever happened to that German story? Our posts on that kerfuffle began with this post on 13 July 2011 and continued almost daily (here, here, here, here, here and here). Then there were other posts (here and here) that came to an end around 10 August 2010.
The shop’s owner, Mahoney said: ” It was a great honour to have him visit us…. It is a massive thing to have someone from a royal family visit a little provincial shop like ours. They seemed very pleased with what they bought.”
The Telegraph adds that the prince:
has a reputation for living a playboy lifestyle. He was at the centre of a scandal in 2009 when an Australian TV channel obtained a video of a lavish birthday party he had thrown for his miniature poodle Foo Foo, at which Princess Srirasmi appeared wearing little more than a G-string.
At the website This is Hampshire, the story is much the same, noting that the royal couple had “an entourage of more than 30 … and spent several thousands of pounds during a four-hour stay.” It adds that he “arrived in a Mercedes with his wife, the Princess Consort Srirasmi, along with Ambassador of Thailand, Kitti Wasinondh.” Private holiday or official visit, the flunkies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are required to slither about.
It adds that it was Vajiralongkorn who “requested The White Lion Antiques Centre shut to the public on June 20 so he could have the space entirely to himself.” The report states that the prince “had around 15 security guards who arrived beforehand.”
Apparently the 300 items of fine china were “to add to their collection…”. As one PPT reader stated, “This is the sufficiency economy in the 21st century.” In fact, as the royalists will tell us, the prince can afford a bit of crockery, so this is “sufficiency.” Just spending a bit of loose change.
Update: A reader points out that the prince’s visit coincides with the Farnborough Air Show, where:
Sikorsky today announced that the Royal Thai Army has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) to acquire two UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters through the United States Government’s Foreign Military Sales channel. Upon delivery, Thailand will become the first member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to fly the very latest version of the BLACK HAWK helicopter operated by the U.S. Army.