Thailand’s Princess Bajrakitiyabha collapses after heart attack, on life support as death rumors flood social media
Thailand’s royal family has announced that Princess Bajrakitiyabha, 44, has “passed out”, even as rumors of her death flood social media. The Thai royal, who is next in line to the throne, was walking her dogs in Khao Yai National Park on December 14 when she reportedly suffered cardiac arrest.
Reports indicate that CPR was performed for over an hour, but was unsuccessful. Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendira Debyavati was flown to Bangkok and is being kept on the ECMO machine, reports say, meaning she is being artificially kept alive.
A royal statement claims the princess lost consciousness on Wednesday, but does not confirm whether she is dead.
- Princess Bajrakitiyabha was running with her dogs in a park on Wednesday December 14 when she suffered a heart attack.
- The princess suffered from the “heart problem” at a military dog battalion training ground in the Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima province in Thailand.
- Princess Bajrakitiyabha was training the dogs for the ongoing Thailand Working Dog Championship by Royal Thai Army 2022 event, which will be held until December 19.
- His father, King Vajiralongkorn, reportedly reached the site by helicopter.
- She did not respond to CPR and was rushed to Pak Chong Nana Hospital, before being airlifted to Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok in a military helicopter.
- Princess Bajrakitiyabha is only 44 years old and the news of her heart failure came as a shock to people.
She’s only 44, so it’s highly unusual for her to have heart failure, but that’s what my sources tell me.
I’ll share more details when I have them. 🙏 3/3
—Andrew MacGregor Marshall (@zenjournalist) December 14, 2022
- On the other side, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, who was in Brussels for the EU-ASEAN summit, left early.
- Reports indicate that Princess Bajrakitiyabha may be kept artificially alive on an ECMO machine for days; and it may take weeks or even months before his death is announced, as it would have a huge impact on the Thai monarchy.
What does this mean for the Thai monarchy? The death of Princess Bajrakitiyabha could have profound repercussions for the Thai monarchy.
- The princess is known as “Princess Bha” in Thailand.
- Her younger half-brother Dipangkorn is autistic and therefore it was speculated that Princess Bajrakitiyabha would either be the next monarch or her brother’s regent.
- Princess Bajrakitiyabha is also the only child of King Vajiralongkorn out of 6 others to be born to a woman of Thai royal lineage. Others are born to commoners.
- Prince Dipangkorn is the only recognized son of the Thai king. He has four other sons, who have been stripped of their royal titles.
- It is possible that King Vajiralongkorn’s sister Sirindhorn is also considered for the throne.
Princess Bajrakitiyabha has also served as Thailand’s Ambassador to Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia in the past. She has also worked with the United Nations.
The bigger picture: Bajrakitiyabha’s father, Maha Vajiralongkorn, became king of Thailand in December 2016, following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The current king has seen a lot of resentment against the monarchy, thanks to his running ways. Thailand has also seen protests against the monarchy in the recent past, calling for the king’s powers to be limited. However, criticism of the royal family is prohibited in Thailand.