KING CHULALONGKORN [ RAMA V ] 1868 -1910  

 

               In 1868, King Mongkut died, Prince Chulalongkorn ascended the throne, King Chulalongkorn was born on 20 th September 1853, he was the eldest son of King Mongkut, and Queen Thepsirintra (Princess Rumpey Phamapirom). During his boyhood, he learned to read and write Thai inside the Grand Palace, and taught by the Thai teacher, who also taught him royal traditions and palace etiquette, his father ( King Rama IV ) intended that the boy should have an early and thorough foundation in English. For that purpose, King Rama IV employed Mrs Anna Leonowens as a tutor of the royal children included Prince Chulalongkorn, and allowed wives of American missionaries coming in the Grand Palace to teach English to others.

 

At the age of 9, Prince Chulalongkorn was appointed on the royal title as Krommameun Piknes Surasunggat, and studied the wresting, the art of attack and defence with swords and wooden club by Luang Monyothanuok including horsemanship was taught by King Mongkut. And at the age of 13, King Mongkut performed the tonsure ceremony for his son. When Prince Chulalongkorn was 15 years of age, he was promoted to be Kromma Khun Pinit Prachanat, and entered the priesthood as a Buddhist novice. In 1868 King Mongkut died, and Prince Chulalongkorn ascended the throne. He was only seventeen years old, so it was necessary to have a regent. The Chief Minister, Chao Praya Srisuriyawongse became the regent and governed the country.

For the period of four years, before reigning the country, King Rama V took an opportunity to visit foreign countries, to study colonial government and western civilization. His first visits were to Singapore and Java (now Indonesia) in 1871.The last country which is visited is India. These were historic events, that no King of Thailand had ever left his country before (except in Sukhothai period, when king Ramkamhaeng visited China). From his visits from he gained enormously in the idea of development of his country, and realized that many things in Thialnd were necessary to change from the undeveloped condition to the pattern of western civilization country. But he was sure that the ancient and original country could not be changed or done away with all at once, it should be kept as a symbol of Thai culture that dignified Thailand forever.

In 1873 when the King was 20 years old, he entered the priesthood for the period of fifteen days, he was the first King of Chakri Dynasty who ordained as Buddhist monk, while he was on the throne.

After he resigned his priesthood, he had his second coronation on 16th November 1873, and assumed the government.

In 1910, the King had been suffered from the chronic kidney illness from which he died on the date of 23 rd October 1910, this day was known by the Thai people as "Won Piya Maharaj" or "The day of the beloved and great King of Thailand," and known to the foreigner as "Chulalongkorn Day". In Thailand in the date of his death, 23 rd October is a national holiday.  

 

  King Rama I

:: King Rama II

:: King Rama III

:: King Rama IV

:: King Rama V

:: King Rama VI

:: King Rama VII

:: King Rama VIII

:: King Rama IX

 

 

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