The world of royalty may seem like a fairytale full of glamour and glitz, but it’s not all about living happily ever after. The royal marriages have faced their fair share of scrutiny over the years with some of them ending in heartbreaks and divorces. The Thai royal family hasn’t been an exception to this reality. While divorce is not common in Thailand, the royal divorces have made headlines, particularly in recent years.
If you are a lady-in-waiting in the palace or a commoner who has found a prince charming, it’s essential to approach the courtship and marriage with caution as you never know what the future holds. Here are some strategies on how to survive a royal marriage in Thai.
Understand the dynamics of the Thai monarchy
The first and most essential strategy in surviving a royal marriage in Thai is understanding the power dynamics ingrained in the Thai monarchy. The King is the head of state, the symbol of the nation, and whoever marries into the royal family has to understand that they are marrying into a power structure. As much as you fall in love, you have to put the institution first.
A royal marriage in Thailand is not just between two people, but it also involves the entire monarchy, high society, and the public. The Thai people are particularly protective of their monarchy, and as such, the conduct and behaviour of the royal family are subjected to rigorous scrutiny. This means that a spouse must put on their best persona and conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the dignity of the throne.
The delicate balance of power
It’s no secret that monarchies have a patriarchal system, and the Thai monarchy is no exception. A spouse marrying a Thai King will find themselves navigating a battle between power and influence. The King has the upper hand in decision-making, although the spouse can wield a lot of influence behind the scenes. A spouse can have an immense impact and control over the King’s decisions based on their personality, values and interests.
Take, for instance, Queen Sirikit, the wife of the previous king, Bhumibol Adulyadej. She started several initiatives on behalf of the monarchy, such as supporting the creation of traditional Thai silk, promoting Thai handicrafts, and embarking on state visits with the king. She was instrumental in raising funds and organising various projects, which made her one of the most respected and revered Queen Consorts in Thai history.
Importance of respect and deference
In Thai culture, respect and deference are crucial elements that are deeply ingrained in society. A spouse to the king has to understand that the royal family follows strict traditions, customs, and rituals. The spouse must show an adequate degree of respect and deference to the monarchy, especially when in public.
It’s also crucial to be mindful of how the public perceives your conduct as it can reflect positively or negatively on the monarchy. Queen Suthida, the current queen consort, is an excellent example of someone who adheres to the strict protocols and decorum of the royal family.
She carries herself with poise and elegance, observes proper etiquette and protocol, and rarely gives any interviews. The public has limited information about her, which has only added to her dignity and mystique.
Handling the public scrutiny
A royal marriage in Thailand is not a private affair nor a conventional marriage by any means. There will always be public interest in how the spouse conducts themselves and the relationship with the king. The public scrutiny goes beyond the couple; it can also include the respective families.
As the spouse of the king, one must develop a thick skin and learn how to handle the public scrutiny. The media attention can be intense, and it’s easy to get carried away with negative comments and speculation. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain poise and dignity, avoiding any public outburst, making allegations or any other negative behavior.
In conclusion, the strategy of divorcing a king may still be rare in Thailand, but a spouse has to learn how to navigate the complexities, power dynamics, and public scrutiny that come with royal marriages. A spouse must put the institution first, be mindful of the traditions and customs, and show respect and deference to the monarchy. By using these strategies, one can have a fulfilling royal marriage and avoid the pitfalls that have beset other royal marriages.