Queen Sirikit on Her Majesty’s State Visits in 1960 and 1962

Pornsan Watanangura


The appointment of the two queens to be Queen Regents in Thai history, indicates the confi dence of the incumbent Kings in the ability of their royal consorts. It also highlights a new era for Thai women and their role in
society. The accompaniment of Her Majesty, with King Rama IX of Thailand, as the youngest monarchs in the world, on offi cial State Visits in 1960 and 1962, proved to be a new and highly signifi cant infl uence, both on a small country in Southeast Asia, post the crisis of World War II and also on how the country was to be perceived internationally thereafter. The state visits of the twentieth century have some similarities with the state visits made to Europe, for the fi rst time, by King Chulalongkorn in 1897. The royal tours of both Kings took place during a background of political turmoil internationally; in both cases the monarchs, King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol, gained tremendous acknowledgement and respect internationally. The visits strengthened the already existing ties between the Siamese Court and some of the leading countries of the Western democratic
world. This research paper, beginning from the onset of the fi rst visit to Europe of King Chulalongkorn in 1897, but concentrates on the state visits of Queen Sirikit in 1960 and 1962. It will illustrate the signifi cant impact on diplomatic, political and cultural aspects internationally, at such a critical time. The presence of Queen Sirikit accompanying King Bhumibol, without doubt, increased the success of the visits and helped shape Thai-Asian and Western relations in the long term.

Keywords: Queen Sirikit on State Visits