The wife of Thailand’s Crown Prince has relinquished her royal title, the kingdom’s palace said Saturday, the first official confirmation of her fall from grace after a string of her relatives were arrested in a police corruption scandal. In recent days there were increasing signals Srirasmi was no longer part of the royal family. In an unusual break from tradition, there was no mention of her in the royal household news broadcasts on 9 December, her birthday. The next day she disappeared from the opening sequence of the nightly royal news broadcasts which features portraits of all the kingdom’s senior royals.
Acknowledgement and permission has been granted by His Majesty the King.
Thailand has been awash with rumours of Srirasmi’s fate for weeks after a slew of her relatives were caught up in a widening police corruption scandal that has sent shockwaves through the country’s elite. Several high profile figures have been arrested including a host of senior policemen and military officers, while one of Thailand’s richest men is on the run from police on charges relating to the probe. But reportable facts on Srirasmi’s status were scant. The country’s monarchy is protected by some of the world’s strictest lèse majesté laws. Both local and international media must heavily self-censor when covering the country’s royal family.