The king of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn, is self-quarantining in Germany with a harem of 20 women and servants.
His country has had a ban on international flights in place, and Thai Airways has suspended passenger operations. Nonetheless the national carrier operated Bangkok – Munich service, including a tag flight between Switzerland and Germany.. so that the king could attend a dinner party, and then once again flee the country with a stop to see his wife before returning to the German Alps.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn made the nearly 9,000-mile trip to Bangkok last Monday with a pit stop in Switzerland along the way to pick up one of his four wives, who had been holed up there during the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Metro newspaper.
“This pandemic is not the fault of anybody,” he was quoted as saying during a lavish banquet in celebration of Chakri Memorial Day, which marks the beginning of the current Thai royal dynasty in 1782.
The return flight from Bangkok to Munich stopped in Switzerland, where the king’s Queen Consort and fourth wife Suthida stays. She was a flight attendant for eight years, before leaving Thai Airways, joining the military, and being assigned to guard the king.
The King, who is qualified as a Boeing 737 pilot, has rented out the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Germany. Most hotels in the country are closed. This property neslted in the Alps received a special permit to house the Thai king.
While the King spent much time in Germany prior to this crisis, Germany has over 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Thailand has reported just over 2600 confirmed cases. That makes the decision to quarantine outside his country all the more curious.
Chile criticizing the Thai king violates the country’s lese majeste laws (punishable by up to 15 years `of prison), but #WhyDoWeNeedAKing has trended in social media. Threats from the nation’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society promising to enforce these laws has tamped down its use from inside the country somewhat.
As I (and Mel Brooks) say, it’s good to be the king.