BANGKOK – Thailand’s royal household released photographs on Friday of the country’s king and queen inspecting soldiers as they manufacture supplies for the COVID-19 crisis.
King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida appear dressed in sportswear in the images, which were released to mark their first wedding anniversary.
The royal couple are seen in matching blue tracksuits and wear masks in some of the pictures as they oversee military personnel making supplies such as masks and head coverings at the First Infantry Regiment in Bangkok.
This regiment is dedicated exclusively to the protection of the king, who spends long periods of his time in Germany.
A number of military officials are seen kneeling and stooping on the floor in front of the royals in the undated photographs.
In one photograph the queen is seen sitting at a sewing machine.
The 67-year-old monarch married his fourth wife, a 41-year-old former flight attendant, in a ceremony at Dusit Palace in Bangkok on May 1 last year.
Three days later, Vajiralongkorn was crowned in a traditional ceremony followed by a procession in which the monarch was carried in a palanquin, or covered litter, through the streets of the capital city.
In July, the king appointed a 34-year-old former nurse and pilot Niramon Ounprom as a royal consort but she fell out of favor three months later, was expelled from the palace and her current whereabouts are unknown.
The king, who since his ascension to the throne has expanded his powers and control over the money and security of the royal household, has married four times and has seven children from these unions.
His father Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in 2016, reigned over Thailand for seven decades and was venerated almost as a deity by a large part of the population who considered him a national father and a role model.
Thailand has one of the harshest lèse-majesté laws in the world, which forbid any public debate on the monarch’s decisions and with penalties of between three and 15 years in prison for defaming, insulting or threatening the king, queen, heir or members of the royal household.