Maha Vachiralongkorn spoke to the press for the first time since he ascended the throne and 40 years after his previous interview as Crown Prince.
King Maha Wachiralongkorn (Rama X) called Thailand a compromise country, commenting for the first time on the more than two weeks of anti-government demonstrations. This is evidenced by a report on Monday by the British Channel 4. This was the monarch’s first conversation with the press since his ascension to the throne and 40 years after his previous interview as Crown Prince.
When asked by a journalist on Channel 4 so that the monarch could tell protesters who are taking to the streets and want reforms, the king first replied: “I have no comments. “We still love them,” added Rama X three times. When asked by the reporter whether there is room for compromise in this situation, the King answered that “Thailand is a country of compromise”.
The monarch then went to numerous royalists and his daughter Princess Sirivannawari approached the reporters. “In spite of everything, we love the citizens of Thailand. This is a peaceful country,” she said, adding that “this [is] true love.
Thai monarchs very rarely communicate with the press, let alone with foreigners. The last time Rama IX was interviewed by the BBC Broadcasting Corporation was in 1979, which was included in the documentary Soul of a Nation.
On 1 November, thousands of pianists in yellow shirts gathered outside the Grand Royal Palace to wait for the monarch who took part in the traditional ceremony. Rama X came to change his clothes at the Emerald Buddha in connection with the transition to the cold season.
Peaceful demonstrations have been taking place in Thailand since 14 October, which marked the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising. The co-ordinators promised to continue until their demands are met – to dismiss the Prime Minister, change the constitution and reform the monarchy. On 21 October, the protesters arrived at Government House and handed over a statement to the police demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation, which had to be signed within three days, but the official ignored it. On 26 October, tens of thousands of protesters arrived at the German Embassy in Bangkok and handed over a letter to diplomats asking them to investigate the occasional stay of the King of Thailand on German territory.