His Royal Highness (HRH) Maha Vajiralongkorn Crown Prince of Thailand was born on July 28 1952 in Bangkok Thailand at the Ambara Villa of the Royal Dusit Palace (which palace was constructed between 1897-1901).
The only son of the present King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej (or Rama IX) and Queen Sirikit, the Prince of Thailand is the heir apparent to the throne of Thailand.
He was given the title 'Somdech Phra Boroma Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman (or Crown Prince) by his father back in 1972 when he was just 20 years of age.
Hence, he has probably been better trained for his future role as the King of Thailand than many other kings before him including his own father.
Although his early education took place in Bangkok, HRH Maha Vajiralongkorn later attended private colleges in both the United Kingdom and Australia where he attended the prestigious Kings School in Sydney.
While he later completed an arts degree at the Sukhothai Thammatirat University in Bangkok his career has been more aligned with the Thai military, having been trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra Australia between 1972-76 (see images above, the Prince in uniform and celebrating his 21st birthday).
The Prince of Thailand also undertook military training with both British and United States armed forces and he is also a qualified helicopter and aircraft pilot and today holds the rank of Admiral within the Royal Thai Navy and General within the Royal Thai Army, and Air Chief Marshall in the Royal Thai Air Force.
While the Crown Prince of Thailand has been preparing to become the King of Thailand since he was 20 years of age, he has been labelled by the media as a playboy, and it has been said that he enjoys the distractions of Europe more than his own country.
There have also been questions raised as to whether he is fit to become the next king of Thailand as video footage emerged of his family engaged in lavish birthday parties and scandalous behavior. In addition the Prince of Thailand has been married three times and he has seven children from these marriages.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
The Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was first married in 1977 to Princess Soamsavali Kitiyakara and together they had one daughter Princess Bajrakitiyabha who was born in 1978.
His second marriage was to an aspiring actress Yuvadhida Polpraserth which took place in 1994 and they had five children together, 4 sons and 1 daughter. In 1996 the marriage failed and Yuvadhida (or Mom Sujarinee Mahidol na Ayuhaya which was her title) fled to Britain with the children and later to moved the United States.
HRH Maha Vajiralongkorn was married for the third time in 2001 to Srirasmi Akharaphongpreecha who had known the Prince of Thailand since 1992 and who came from a more normal background. After the marriage she received the title of Princess Srirasmi Mom Srirasm Mahidol na Ayuthaya. Their son (Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti) was born on 29 April 2005 (see image below). However, in December 2014 Princess Srirasmi was stripped of her royal title as several of her relatives had reportedly been tied to corruption and illegal activities. In the same month the couple also divorced and Srirasmi received a payment of 200 million Thai baht.
When HRH Maha Vajiralongkorn became Crown Prince back in 1972 he took an oath at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha vowing to perform his royal duties for the sake of the nation and the betterment of the Thai people.
Since this period he has undertaken his royal duties serving within the Royal Thai Army while also completing a number of provincial tours around Thailand. Since 1977, he has been instrumental in setting up the Crown Prince hospital scheme which uses public donated funds to build medical and health care facilities within remote areas of Thailand. There are over 21 such hospitals now established and they provide health care of an international standard to the community.
In recent years Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has also undertaken many of his ailing father's ceremonial duties, which has included presiding over the opening of parliament and the National Legislative Assembly.
Since 2007, the Prince of Thailand is said to have spent much of his time in Europe; being a period of political unrest in Thailand. He and his third wife were known to visit France Germany and North Hampshire in England, often visiting with an entourage of at least thirty people (see Maha Vajiralongkorn pictured above at the White Lions Antiques Centre in Hartley Wintney, 2012) . His official residence while in Thailand is at the Sukhothai Palace in Bangkok which was built back in 1918.
As Thai royalty the Prince and Princess of Thailand have the opportunity to meet other royal couples and foreign dignitaries.
For example, they were guests at Windsor Castle in England during Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee where they were seen chatting with Queen Elizabeth and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (see images above and below).