BANGKOK — Frenzied supporters are flooding social media with memes framing the eldest child of the late king’s entry into politics as an epic showdown between good and evil.
After Ubolratana Mahidol was nominated to be Thai Raksa Chart Party’s candidate for prime minister, #LongLiveSlender and #Mommy’sHereThanos leaped to the top of the twittersphere in expressions of surprise, support and some confusion.
Long Live Slender is a reference to a May episode of her televised “To Be Number One Variety” show in which she explained that she prefers hearing “long live slender” (song phra slender), to “long live your highness” (song phra charoen).
“‘Long live your highness’ doesn’t feel so down-to-earth and intimate. It feels stiff and puts distance between us. … Another funny reason is that ‘long live your highness’ could mean blessing you to be fatter,” she said. “So I ask people to say ‘long live slender’ or to not say ‘long live’ anything. If you want to bless me, say ‘long live slender’ instead.”
Her fervent fanbase has embraced Ubolratana in manichean pop culture terms, employing the hashtag #Mommy’sHereThanos to compare the 67-year-old to Captain Marvel, the central character of the next film due in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet others saw it as a triumphal moment of female empowerment.
— 🌻 nk (@fffonnq) February 8, 2019
‘The enemy has been defeated,’ @Fffonnq tweeted.
— gemmies (@gemmie_V) February 8, 2019
Comparing Ubolratana to queens Elizabeth, Amidala, Cleopatra; and Empress Wu of Tang China; @Gemmie_v called the princess’ entrance into politics an ‘era of empowered women.’
ไหนๆ ก็ไหนๆแล้ว ขอนโยบายพรรค ค่าโบทอก ฟิลเลอร์ เลเซอร์ ดูดไขมัน ให้ใช้ลดหย่อนภาษี ได้ หรือเอาเข้าบัตรทองก็ดี 🤣🤣🤣 #ทรงพระสเลนเดอร์
— แคสปี้ 💫702👀 (@cinti2553) February 8, 2019
@Cinti2553 lays out how #LongLiveSlender will translate to public policy. ‘Botox, fillers, laser surgery and lipo should be tax-deductible, or usable with the Golden Card universal healthcare.’
— Dhiravath Suantan (@ARMdhiravath) February 1, 2019
@Armdhiravath tweeted photos of Ubolratana shopping in a market while commending seemingly down-to-earth actions. ‘Her Highness wears a mask and shops in a market in a simple way among her citizens. Her bodyguards and followers are wearing casual clothes, too.’
— วันนี้คุณซบแมวรึยัง? (@fateisplay) February 8, 2019
Captain Marvel is shown punching an old woman meant to represent junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha.
— บต (@btwrp) February 8, 2019
@btwrp applies Captain Marvel’s quote to the princess stepping into the political arena.
— Mecobalamun (@mecobalamun) February 8, 2019
@Mecobalamun cast Ubolratana as Daenerys from Game of Thrones.
Indeed, a lot of the memes feature a bewildered Prayuth, who defied expectations by saying he would run against her.
“Oh, dang. What now?”
เอิ้ก!!! เจ็บนี้ไม่ลืม จุกในอกกระทบไปไหล่ แสบลงตับไต ทั้งม้ามใส้และพุง หน้าชาไปหมด ขี้หดตดหาย วอดวายทั้งแก๊งค์………บายๆ หมดเวลาของลุงแล้ว#ไทยรักษาชาติ #ทรงพระสเลนเดอร์ #พลังประชารัฐ pic.twitter.com/GA9U4j1Ema
— Kingdom UnderFire (@kuf57) February 8, 2019
“That feeling when you see the list of people in the civil service examinations,” captions a picture of Prayuth as a historical Chinese official.
Popular satirical webcomic Kaimaew posted a blank comic, perhaps signifying the taboo of criticizing or even discussing royals. Ubolratana, however, was stripped of her royal title when she married an American in 1972.
Khaosod English’s live coverage of this morning’s announcement by Thai Raksa Chart.
The “To Be Number One Variety” episode where she explains “Long live slender.”