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Thai king marries bodyguard in surprise wedding

By
Darryl Coote
Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (R) pours wedding water on Ge. Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya (L) who is now appointed as Queen Suthida during a royal marriage registration ceremony at the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall inside the Dusit Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by EPA-EFE/ROYAL HOUSEHOLD BUREAU
Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (R) pours wedding water on Ge. Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya (L) who is now appointed as Queen Suthida during a royal marriage registration ceremony at the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall inside the Dusit Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by EPA-EFE/ROYAL HOUSEHOLD BUREAU

May 2 (UPI) -- Days before his official coronation, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn married the deputy head of his personal security in a surprise wedding.

Announced in the Royal Gazette Wednesday with footage of the ceremony later broadcast on television, Vajiralongkorn, 66, married Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya, 40, earlier in the day, the Bangkok Post reported.

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After they were officially married, the king presided over a ceremony at Ambara Villa in Dusit Palace installing her as the country's queen.

The royal announcement said the king "has decided to promote General Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Aydhaya, his royal consort, to become Queen Suthida and she will hold royal title and status as part of the royal family."

Vajiralongkorn, known by his official title King Rama X, was to be officially crowned king Saturday following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in 2016.

More than 150,000 people are expected to attend festivities over the weekend in Bangkok celebrating his official crowning.

Suthida, who holds the rank of general, served in the king's bodyguard corp since 2014, when he was crowned prince.

Vajiralongkorn has been married three times previous and has five sons and two daughters.

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