Thailand’s King flees coronavirus lockdown with 20 concubines to hide out in German resort
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 67, reportedly booked the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl with “special permission” to break the lockdown in the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. He is isolating in the resort with 20 concubines and a large team of servants German tabloid Bild has said. The royal party was deemed a “homogenous group that does not change composition”, meaning the hotel could be reclassified as a residential home for the duration of the stay.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 67, reportedly booked the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl with “special permission” to break the lockdown in the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
He is isolating in the resort with 20 concubines and a large team of servants German tabloid Bild has said.
The royal party was deemed a “homogenous group that does not change composition”, meaning the hotel could be reclassified as a residential home for the duration of the stay.
Thai social media has been alight with criticism of the king, risking up to 15 years’ jail as insulting the monarchy is an offence under national law.
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He is isolating in the spa-resort whilst parts of Thailand have begun locking down as the death toll increased to nine and the total number of confirmed infections to 1,524.
German media have reported that 119 members of the royal entourage have been sent home after being suspected of contracting the virus.
The hotel is located in the ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkrichen.
His takeover made local news because hotels in the region have been forced to close to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The often controversial Thai king’s extravagant move sparked further outrage in his homeland, with the hashtag “Why do we need a king?” appearing 1.2 million times on Twitter within 24 hours of news of his German trip first breaking.
Vajiralongkorn is not thought to have made a public appearance in his country since February, the Times of London said — even as it records more than 1,500 coronavirus cases and nine deaths as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The king became constitutional monarch when his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died in October 2016 after 70 years on the throne.
He is also a keen cyclist, and is said to have made a number of bike excursions in the area.
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He is believed to own a large holiday home 25 miles away by Lake Starnberg, and is a frequent visitor to Bavaria.
The monarch was educated at Millfield, a boarding school in Somerset, and made international headlines when US diplomatic cables were leaked suggesting he had promoted his poodle Fufu to air chief marshal in the Royal Thai Air Force.
Fufu’s death in 2015, a year before Rama X ascended to the throne, was followed by a lavish four-day funeral.
The occasion was used by Thai commentators and social media users to skirt the anti-free speech laws with veiled remarks about the monarchy.
King Rama X was born on July 28, 1952.
His full name means “adorned with jewels or thunderbolts.”
He was educated first at a palace school in Bangkok, then prep and boarding schools in the United Kingdom, before completing his overseas education at the Royal Military College at Duntroon in Canberra, Australia.
After graduating, the prince joined the Thai army.
He underwent advanced military training not only in Thailand, but also the UK, US, and Australia, becoming an officer and qualified pilot for both civilian and military aircrafts.
According to the BBC, the king still flies his own Boeing 737 when he travels overseas.
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