BANGKOK — Speaking for the first time since she accepted the nomination to be Thailand’s next prime minister, former princess Ubolratana thanked her supporters and vowed to lead the country toward a golden age.
In an online post titled “Thank you,” the former royalty said she is exercising her political rights as a commoner by contending atop Thai Raksa Chart Party’s ticket. The 67-year-old surrendered royal titles when she married an American in the 1970s, though she remains revered by many as a tul kramom, an honorific roughly equivalent to princess.
“I’d also like to clarify that I have already relinquished all royal titles, and I am living as a commoner,” Ubolratana wrote. “Therefore, I’d like to exercise my rights and freedom as a commoner under the constitution and the law.”
Ubolratana sent shock waves through the political landscape earlier this morning when Thai Raksa Chart, a party allied to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, nominated her to lead the next government.
She is now the first royal family member to run for office since absolute monarchy was overthrown in a 1932 coup.
This is an unofficial translation of the message in full she posted to her private Instagram account.
“Thank you for the love and support of every fellow Thai. I am deeply touched. I’d like to say I want to see all of us have the opportunity to build happiness in our country.
“I’d also like to clarify that I have already relinquished all royal titles, and I am living as a commoner. Therefore, I’d like to exercise my rights and freedom as a commoner under the constitution and the law, and I consent to Thai Raksa Chart Party’s nomination as the prime minister to demonstrate my rights, freedom and lack of any privilege over the Thai people under the constitution.
“I have undertaken this action with sincerity and a resolve to sacrifice for a chance to lead Thailand toward progress and prosperity.”