The Alps beckon (again)

13 11 2021

Hugely wealthy, erratic, dim and tone-deaf, King Vajiralongkorn has been supported by military leaders past and present, security services, and the judiciary in seeing off the popular calls for him to back away from his path to restored absolutism.

Confident he’s won the battle, the king has jetted off to his Germany, his preferred location. It was all done secretly, but leaked.

We had mentioned this trip a couple of times, pointing to Andrew MacGregor Marshall’s Facebook posts, but wanted to wait for more verifiable details before posting. Now the poodle is out of the bag, with Bild (in German) and several other newspapers reporting his travels, his entourage, and his harem.

Bild journalists reported being threatened by the king’s “security” detail.

The Guardian reported: “Thailand’s King … Vajiralongkorn has reportedly flown to Germany in what is believed to be his first trip abroad since pro-democracy protests escalated last year, breaking long-held taboos to call for reforms to the monarchy.”

The SCMP had this: “He’s back and is feeling at home with his poodles in his favourite kingdom of Bavaria,” Bild wrote, adding he had brought 30 poodles with him from Thailand. The Guardian adds that the king and entourage “booked an entire [4th] floor of the Hilton Munich airport hotel for 11 days.”

Several aircraft were used to transport the entourage and the huge amount of “luggage” they “need.”

This is why protesters have criticized the king for his extended trips abroad and called for changes to curb his powers and wealth, many of which he’s grabbed since he took the throne.

Who pays?

On Facebook, “some criticised the king’s luxurious lifestyle, saying it struck a poor contrast to the struggles of the pro-democracy activists.”

It is unclear how long he’ll stay in Germany, with some saying he should return soon for the seasonal costume changing ceremony for the Emerald Buddha. Yet with quarantine requirements in Germany, that would been further quarantining. But perhaps he’s not worried as the amount of stuff taken to Germany suggests an extended stay and short trips to Thailand, re-establishing his previous pattern.


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14 11 2021
Pushing back against absolutism | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] course, royalists, the current palace (albeit mostly based in Germany), and the military-backed regime all know that their political dominance demands political […]

21 11 2021
A royalist ode | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] a lot to think about in this event. First, why did he and his huge entourage decamp to Europe just a little more than a week ago, to return for just day? Was he trying to be out of the country when the Constitutional Court was […]

5 12 2021
Back to “normal” | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] off anti-monarchism, and the king sent a huge number of people, dogs, and royal stuff to Germany. He jetted out in secret in the second week of November. As the the SCMP had it: “He’s back and is feeling at […]

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