Further updated: The monarchy is different (or the queen’s hospitalization)

1 10 2010

Also available in German.

In the late evening on Thursday, the queen was admitted to hospital. The reports show how very different Thailand’s monarchy is from almost all other people in the world and also show how lese majeste laws have made the media totally hopeless on matters royal.

Queens wear hatsThe Nation reports it this way: “His Majesty the King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, visited HM Queen Sirikit at Chulalongkorn Hospital yesterday evening. On the advice of a medical team, Her Majesty was admitted to the hospital late on Thursday for a comprehensive checkup.”

Obviously, this is a routine check, because simply everybody going to a hospital for a comprehensive check up is admitted at 11 p.m. As PPT has previously shown, if we were to believe the media, the king, who has been in a different hospital for more than a year, was never really reported to be seriously ill by the media. No one in the mainstream media dares say that an 11 p.m. admission to hospital might suggest something other than the normal. As one brief report states: “The health of the monarchy is regarded as a sensitive issue in Thailand.” The Royal Household Bureau is seemingly silent. So the rumor mill will crank into action.

The Nation then embarks on a treacly account of the kings visit the queen: “His Majesty came down from his room on the 16th floor of a Siriraj Hospital building in a wheelchair and then left in a royal motorcade. His niece, Thanpuying Dhasanawalaya Sornsongkram, accompanied him. The much-revered monarch wore a pale blue shirt, a blue suit jacket, and a pair of grey trousers. He held a camera in his hands. His loyal subjects waited to see him off from Siriraj.” Hushed tones because grey trousers may now become important symbols of royalism, following yellow shirts, pinks shirts and so on.

And the usual bunch of royal protectors and promoters were at the hospital to greet the king: “Crown Property Bureau director Dr Chirayu Isarangkun na Ayuthaya, His Majesty’s principal private secretary Arsa Sarasin and his wife, Army chief Prayuth Chanocha, and many others waited to greet him and his niece upon their arrival.”

But maybe the newspaper gets into trouble for a colloquialism when it says: “HRH Chulabhorn Valayalaksana and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn also showed up at the hospital to visit their mother.” It is hard to imagine any royal just showing up. Surely, like demi-gods, they do something more magnificent.

And just in case there are any nasty republicans lurking about, even though the monarchy is “universally revered, “Metal detectors have been installed at the entrance to the building. Police and Special Branch officers have also been on duty to boost security there.” But, then, there was a bomb scare at Siriraj hospital, where the king maintains himself.

The Bangkok Post adds that double standards will apply to the hordes of well-wishers who will be herded down to the queen’s hospital: “The Royal Household Bureau will on Saturday arrange a table on the 10th floor for high-ranking officials and another on the 1st floor for the people to sign the visitors’ books from 8am to 7pm.”

Because of laws, propaganda and fear, the monarchy is treated in ways that mark them out as different and special. That is probably as it should be. After all, they are the richest Thais, arguably the most influential in terms of politics, and have contributed in so many ways to Thailand’s authoritarian slide.

Update 1: Who were amongst the first to scramble up to the 10th floor visitors’ books for high-ranked officials? Of course, chief royalists Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, who head the monarchy’s government and maintain its repression.

Update 2: AP has more details on what it describes as “Thailand’s elderly queen” and her hospitalization. It cites a “brief statement by the Royal Household Bureau said 78-year-old Queen Sirikit, who is the wife of Thailand’s constitutional monarch [another nod in the direction of censorship in Thailand, where it is now almost impossible just to say “monarch”], was admitted to a Bangkok hospital on Thursday but did not say when she was expected to check out.” The statements said: “Her Majesty the Queen had a rapid heartbeat. The doctors therefore asked her to travel to and stay at Chulalongkorn Hospital on the night of Sept. 30,” with AP adding that the queen’s “heart rate became normal on the night of Oct. 1,” but it was vague about what the treatment was. Official statements about the royal family are traditionally formal and discreet.” Yes, they are, but vague and opaque might be better ways to express it.


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2 10 2010
Tweets that mention The monarchy is different in many ways « Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร, NEWSpace. NEWSpace said: The monarchy is different in many ways: In the late evening on Thursday, the queen was admitted to hospital. The r… http://bit.ly/aDACQz […]

2 10 2010
Queen is already back to normal « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] is already back to normal As is usual and as PPT kind of predicted, the queen’s heart is miraculously “normal.” None of us at PPT are medical […]

2 10 2010
Queen already back to normal « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] already back to normal As is usual and as PPT kind of predicted, the queen’s heart is miraculously “normal.” None of us at PPT are medical […]

27 05 2016
Ill queen surfaces | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] has been heard of the ill and aged queen for almost a year. She’s been ill since late 2010, not that long after she had actively gone to bat for the People’s Alliance for Democracy. […]

27 05 2016
Ill queen surfaces | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] has been heard of the ill and aged queen for almost a year. She’s been ill since late 2010, not that long after she had actively gone to bat for the People’s Alliance for Democracy. […]




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