Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is to inherit the throne of one of the world’s richest monarchies, has said he is not interested in becoming the King of Thailand.
Thailand is currently riven by political schisms and all eyes were on Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was set to become Thailand’s new monarch following the death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn did not give reasons for rejecting the throne as he shouted “I’m just not interested”.
Much concerns have been raised if the Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn could be a true replica of the king his father was but Thailand’s restrictive and broadly applied lèse-majesté laws, which protect the royal family from defamation has kept the media tight-lipped on addressing this concern.
According to Time.com, the Crown Prince has been embroiled in scandals over the years, and it is thought that many Thais would prefer his younger sister Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, 61, taking the throne — even though women are not in the line of succession for the Thai monarchy. He divorced his former consort and third wife Princess Srirasmi in 2014, after several of her relatives were arrested for abusing their royal-family status for money. Srirasmi relinquished her titles and returned to life as a commoner. Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks showed Thai elites expressing concerns about Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn becoming King.
The Guardian reported that, the ruling junta were concerned over Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s friendship with the ousted former Prime Minister and telecommunications billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra. Some have speculated that two coup d’états that removed the now exiled tycoon and later his sister Yingluck Shinawatra were over fears that the Crown Prince would find a base among Thaksin’s populist supporters.
In fact he is known more for his eclectic dress sense, scandal-plagued past and failed marriages than any regal qualities, the independent reported.
There are speculations that his younger sister Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn would be taking the throne after the rejection by the rightful heir.