The king of Thailand shocked the nation when he named a bodyguard Noble Royal Consort just months after his fourth marriage. Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi’s rise from nurse to the royal household was a rapid one. And yet her fall from grace was even more sudden, coming just months after her appointment, amid harsh words and savage accusations from King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
One-time nurse Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, whose nickname is Koi, worked in the Thai palace as a part of King Vajiralongkorn’s team of bodyguards. The monarch, officially King Rama X, awarded Koi four medals, including the highest ranking, the special class level of the Order of the White Elephant. Her appointment as consort, however, confirmed persistent rumors of the king’s womanizing.
King Rama X had been married three times before, yet each collapsed amid scandalous rumors and controversy. Some have described the king as strangely idiosyncratic at best, with others characterizing him as brutally malicious. And if his fourth marriage to a 41-year-old former air hostess and king’s consort was a surprise, then naming 34-year-old Koi as royal consort months later shocked Thailand even more.
The Thai palace released photos of Koi, variously showing the consort piloting an aeroplane, wearing a crop top or combat fatigues, and even posing with King Rama X and his poodle. Controversially, such fulsome treatment of the king’s companions is typically reserved for those closest to the ruler, for instance his wife on her birthday. More shocking, however, was Koi’s sudden and merciless downfall.
In a statement released on October 21, 2019, the 67-year-old king announced Koi’s titles had been rescinded, branding her “ambitious,” “disloyal,” and “ungrateful.” It read, “[Koi] is ungrateful and behaves in ways unbecoming of her title. She is… doing everything to rise to the level of the queen,” hinting at a royal rivalry. Koi’s images have since been scrubbed from official palace channels.