by Susan Flantzer
© Unofficial Royalty 2023
Sujarinee Vivacharawongse, as she is now known, was a consort and the second of the four wives of King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, then the Crown Prince. Born Yuvadhida Polpraserth on May 26, 1962, in Bangkok, Thailand, she is the daughter of Thanit Polpraserth and Yaovalak Komarakul na Nagara. Her father was a musician and composer and her mother was a singer.
Using the stage name Yuwathida Suraswadee, Sujarinee became an actress in 1977 when she was fifteen years old, starring in television dramas and movies. She was introduced to the then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and became the Crown Prince’s consort. In August 1979, Sujarinee announced her retirement from acting. At this time, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn was married to his first cousin Soamsawali Kitiyakaram known as Princess Soamsawali and they had a daughter Princess Bajrakitiyabha, born in 1978.
Sujarinee and Vajiralongkorn had four sons and one daughter:
- Juthavachara Vivacharawongse (born 1979)
- Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse (born 1981)
- Chakriwat Vivacharawongse (born 1983)
- Vatcharawee Vivacharawongse (born 1985)
- Princess Sirivannavari of Thailand (born 1987)
Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s first wife Princess Soamsawali refused divorce for many years, but in 1993, the Crown Prince sued for divorce in the family court. He accused Princess Soamsawali of being completely at fault for the failed marriage. She was not able to refute any of the charges because of lèse-majesté in Thailand. It is illegal to defame, insult, or threaten the king, queen, heir-apparent, heir-presumptive, or regent of Thailand. The penalty for committing lèse-majesté is three to fifteen years in prison for each count. The divorce was finalized in July 1993.
In February 1994, Sujarinee and Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn were married. The Crown Prince’s father King Bhumibol Adulyadej and paternal grandmother Princess Srinagarindra attended the wedding but his mother Queen Sirikit, who was also the aunt of his first wife Princess Soamsawali, did not attend. After the wedding, the bride’s name was changed to Sujarinee Mahidol na Ayudhya, signifying she was a commoner married to a royal. Sujarinee was commissioned as a major in the Royal Thai Army and took part in royal ceremonies with Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.
In 1996, Sujarinee fled to the United Kingdom with her five children. The Crown Prince accused her of adultery and managed to retrieve their daughter and bring her back to Thailand. Sujarinee and the couple’s four sons were stripped of their royal titles and the couple’s marriage was dissolved. After the end of her marriage, Sujarinee and her sons used the royal surname Vivacharawongse and lived in the United States.
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- Mehl, Scott. (2014) King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, Unofficial Royalty. Available at: https://www.unofficialroyalty.com/crown-prince-maha-vajiralongkorn-of-thailand/ (Accessed: February 11, 2023).
- Sujarinee Vivacharawongse (2023) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sujarinee_Vivacharawongse (Accessed: February 11, 2023).
- สุจาริณี วิวัชรวงศ์ (Sujarinee Vivacharawongse) (2023) Wikipedia (in Thai). Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://th.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%88%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%93%E0%B8%B5_%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%A8%E0%B9%8C (Accessed: February 11, 2023).