Thailand Royal Family Residences

There are two building complexes today associated with the monarchy: the Grand Palace , over 200 years old, and Chitralada Villa of Dusit Palace , the .much smaller and less ornate estate which King Bhumibol Adulyadej has chosen as his family's Bangkok residence.

The resplendent Grand Palace , a 60-acre enclosure on the Chao Phraya River, is one of Thailand 's best-known landmarks; today it houses the offices of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary, the Bureau of the Royal Household, the Royal Institute, the Thai Junior Encyclopedia Project under Royal Patronage, and some offices of the Treasury Department. The earliest buildings in the palace compound, regarded as masterpieces of classic Thai architecture, were constructed in the reign of King Rama I, founder of the Royal House of Chakri Dynasty, and extensive additions in both Thai and Western styles were made by subsequent rulers. Though the King no longer makes his home in the Grand Palace, its historic buildings are nonetheless still used for most of the important ceremonies associated with the Thai monarchy.

Royal coronations, for example, take place in the Phra Thinang Paisan Thaksin, one of a group of early structures of royal residences and throne halls known as the Phra Maha Monthien. This magnificently decorated hall contains among other things the Octagonal Throne, from which the King formally receives the invitation from representatives of the people to rule over the kingdom, and the Phatthrabit Throne, from which he receives the Royal Regalia, the Royal Utensils, and the Royal Weapons of Sovereignty. The adjoining Phra Thinang Amarin Winitchai originally served as the principal Audience Hall and is still used for the Grand Audience on His Majesty's Royal Birthday Anniversary and for Royal Religious Ceremonies throughout the year.

The Phra Thinang Dusit Mciha Prasat Throne Hall, also built by King Rama I, provides the setting for the annual Buddhist and Brahmin Coronation Day Anniversary Rites. It is also a custom to place the remains of kings, queens, and senior members of the Royal Family in this hall prior to their crema- tion, a ritual performed most recently in the case of Her Majesty Queen Rambhai Barni of the seventh reign who was given an elaborate traditional funeral in 1985.

The Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat, a largely Western-style throne hall built by His Majesty's grandfather King Chulalongkorn between 1876 and 1882, is used for royal dinners and receptions and is also the place where King Bhumibol Adulyadej receives the credentials of newly arrived foreign ambassadors to Thailand.

Wat Phra Keo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which occupies one section of the palace compound, serves as the royal chapel and houses Thailand 's most revered Buddha image. His Majesty performs a number of important religious ceremonies here during the year, among them the ritual changing of the image's jewel-encrusted regalia at the beginning of the hot, cool, and rainy seasons.

Chitralada Villa in Bangkok serves not merely as a Royal Residence but also performs a number of other functions; within the same compound are hospital which serves the royal staff and needy people, a school, and assorted experimental agricultural facilities.

Four other royal residences are located outside Bangkok. They are at Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand coast in Prachuab Khiri Khan Province, in the northern city of Chiang Mai, in Sakon Nakhon Province in the northeast, and in Narathiwat Province in the south.

Klai Kangwon Palace Hua Hin

Klai Kangwon Palace was built in the reign of King Prajadhipok on the beach of Hua Hin Sub-district, Prachuab Khiri Khan Province.  His Majesty King Prajadhipok had this palace built for Her Majesty Queen Rambhai Bharni.

On the grounds of Klai Kangwon Palace, there are 4 major buildings with whose names reflect alliteration: Piam Suk, Pluk Kasem, Urb Prem, and Aim Pree.  Piam Suk, the first building in the palace ground, was built in 1926.  It is picturesque, two-storey concrete building constructed in a natural style that imitates a castle in European countries.

Klai Kangwon Palace is now a royal residence of Their Majesties when they go to visit their subjects in the remote areas in the Mid-South.  It is the only residence in Hua Hin that retained its royal residence status as in the past.


Bhubing Palace Chiang Mai

Bhubing Palace is located on Buag Ha Mountain, Hang Dong District in Chiang Mai Province.  It was built in 1959, according to His Majesty the King's Wishes to serve both as a reception locale for foreign guests and also as a royal residence.  Reflecting Thai style architecture, it is built mainly with rocks and cement.  This palace was first used to receive King Frederic the 9th and Queen Ingrid of Denmark in 1962.  It is now the royal residence of Their Majesties when they go for a rest in the cool season.

Bhuban Palace in Sakon Nakhon Province

When Their Majesties make a visit to their rural subjects in the Northeastern Thailand, they stay at Bhuban Palace in Sakon Nakhon Province.  This palace was built in 1974 and has a mixed style of Thai and Western architecture.

Daksin Palace in Narathiwat Province

Located in the Tan Yong Sub-district in Narathiwat Province, Daksin Palace is the royal residence of Their Majesties the King and the Queen when they visit their subjects in the rural and remote areas of the South.  It was built in 1972.



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