Since she became Queen of Thailand, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has assisted His Majesty the King in his development work. She has always stood by his side, and both complement each other well. In her well-known words, Her Majesty has proclaimed, “Should His Majesty be water, I would be the forest that is loyal to water. His Majesty builds reservoirs, I will replant forests.”
Her Majesty the Queen was born on Friday, 12 August 1932, as Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara. Thai people celebrate Her Majesty’s 75th birthday anniversary this year, coinciding with His Majesty’s 80th birthday anniversary. Her Majesty is the eldest daughter of the late General Prince Nakkhatra Mangala, later made Prince Chandaburi Suranath, and Mom Luang Bua Kittiyakara. She attended Rajini School and then Saint Francis Xavier Convent School in Bangkok.
After the Second World War, her father was appointed the Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Great Britain, and was later assigned to Denmark and France. Mom Rajawongse Sirikit went along with the family and took piano lessons and studied art, languages, history, and literature in England, France, and Switzerland.
His Majesty the King and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit were engaged abroad. The royal wedding took place on 28 April 1950 at Sa Pathum Palace in Bangkok in the ancient royal tradition. His Majesty, at the time of marriage, was 23 years of age and Her Majesty was 17 years old. On May 5 in the same year, His Majesty the King had his coronation ceremony performed. Following the ceremony, he elevated Her Majesty to the full rank of the Queen of Thailand. On the occasion of His Majesty’s ordination as a monk, in 1966, Her Majesty served as Regent.
She is the first Queen of Thailand to visit people in all parts of the country, and through her boundless benevolence, Her Majesty has promoted the development of Thai people beyond imagination. In supporting His Majesty in his numerous rural development projects, Her Majesty established the “Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupation and Related Techniques,” known in short as SUPPORT. The foundation is intended to preserve Thai crafts, techniques, and skills. It trains rural people in numerous occupational skills, so that they can earn extra income for their families.
Concerned about the environment, Her Majesty has bestowed her support for various forest preservation and reforestation projects. Her work in conservation has gained international recognition, as seen from the awards she has received. She was also presented with a certificate by the World Wildlife Fund, proclaiming her as one of the world’s leading conservationists.