BANGKOK — Five-hundred people went home Tuesday clutching five shirts sporting illustrations by King Rama X. The rest went home empty-handed – but determined to return the next day.
Hundreds of people queued at dawn this morning in lines stretching out of the Government House to buy yellow and white polos in preparation for the King’s birthday next month. Half an hour after the shop opened at 9am, all shirts were sold out, even after they were capped at five shirts per customer.
“I understand that citizens want to wear shirts with king-drawn patterns that His Majesty drew himself,” Patcharaporn Inseeyong of the Prime Minister’s Office said. “It’s a cute pattern that anyone would want to keep for its auspiciousness and value, since there’s no other shirt like it in the world.”
The shirts, priced at ฿299 each, are sold at branches of the royal project government welfare 904 Shop including one at the Government House.
“King-drawn patterns are beautiful on any color shirt,” Patcharaporn said. “As we know, Mother’s Day in August is when citizens want to wear blue, so you can come buy blue shirts at the 904 Shop as well.”
The shirts feature drawings showing smiling members of a family biking and hiking together with smiling homes and clouds Designs on the back show kids playing traditional Thai games.
Patcharaporn said the palace would increase production to 3,000 shirts from 500 a day. She added that any yellow shirt can also be worn for the King’s birthday on July 28. However, only outlets approved by the palace, such as the 904 shop, are allowed to sell the shirts.
Rama X, who has yet to be crowned, will turn 66.
One of the people to queue up for one of the shirts was Panthongtae “Oak” Shinawatra, son of ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
“Today after my meeting, I had to chance to go buy shirts and bags to send to my father and grandfather,” he wrote in a June 11 Instagram post that accompanied by photos of him buying the items.