Saovabha Bongsri

Saovabha Bongsri

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Saovabha Bongsri

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Queen Saovabha Bongsri ( ; —Saowapha Phongsi—) was a half-sister and queen of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Thailand, and mother of both King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) and King Prajadhipok (Rama VII). As in accordance with Thai royal tradition, King Vajiravudh later bestowed on his mother the tile of "Queen Mother Sri Bajrindra" ( ; —Si Patcharintara—).

Life

Saovabha was born as a Princess of Siam by King Mongkut (or Rama IV) and Princess Consort Piyamavadi (Piam Sucharitakul). She was the youngest sister of the future Queen Sunandha Kumariratana and Queen Savang Vadhana. Saovabha became the consort of her half brother King Chulalongkorn sometime in 1878. She gave him 9 children, 5 would survive to adulthood (one died in infancy), two would eventually become King of Siam.

In 1897, Queen Saovabha became the first female Regent of Siam, when her husband went on a tour of Europe. When he returned he bestowed upon her the title of Somdet Phra Nang Chao Saovabha Bongsi Praborommarachininat () (roughly equivalent to H.M. the Queen Regent). During her time as queen she took many interests especially in the issues concerning women. In 1904 she established the first school for girls in Siam; the "Rajini School" or Queen's School in Bangkok.

She died in 1919 at the age of 57, She was given a grand Royal Funeral, attended by all members of the Siamese Royal Family, the ceremony was presided by her son King Vajiravudh. She plays a prominent posthumous role in...
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