A peek into the royal jewellery of Thailand!
Over the past 4 years, I have enjoyed curating researched articles on the royal jewels adorned by Indian Maharajas and Maharani, Princess Diana, HM Queen Elizabeth II, the Persian royal treasury and many more! I am delighted to share #RoyalThaiJewels worn by the Thai Royal Family.
The monarchy of Thailand refers to the constitutional monarchy and monarch of the Kingdom of Thailand (formerly Siam). All kings in the current Chakri dynasty of Thailand are often referred to as King Rama; Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok Maharaj also known as Rama I, was the first monarch of Thailand and Vajiralongkorn referred to as Rama X is the tenth and the current monarch and his fourth wife Suthida Tidjai is Queen of Thailand.
Let’s discover some great Thai royal jewels!
The Order of the Royal House of Chakri
In many countries, monarchs have established orders of chivalry or merit that are bestowed upon individuals for their significant contributions to society, their service to the monarchy, or other notable achievements. “The Order of the Royal House of Chakri” is an official honour bestowed by the Thai royal family.
The Order of the Royal House of Chakri was established by King Rama V in 1882 to commemorate the Bangkok Centennial and is awarded to members of the Royal Family and some Foreign Consorts. The insignia includes; A collar with the Pendant of Chakri suspended. A smaller Pendant of Chakri worn suspended from a solid yellow sash, worn over the left shoulder. A star of the order, the Star of Chakri, worn on the left chest
Aren’t they all amazing pieces of honour to be worn?
Royal Thai Regalia
The Royal Regalia of Thailand refers to the collection of sacred and ceremonial items used in the country’s royal ceremonies and coronations. During King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation on May 4, 2019, the monarch was presented with five royal regalia, treated as symbols of kingship, marking the legitimacy of his reign.
1) Great Crown of Victory (Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut) and Umbrella:
This crown is the most important symbol of the Thai monarchy. It is traditionally used for coronation ceremonies and is adorned with precious gems and diamonds. At the tip of the cone-shaped crown is a large diamond from Kolkata called “Phra Maha Wichian Mani”. The coronation is only considered complete when the new king is presented with the royal nine-tiered umbrella, which is considered the most sacred object by the country’s Ministry of Culture.
2) Sword of Victory (Phra Saeng Khan Chai Sri):
The sword is a symbol of the King’s military prowess and leadership. It is ornamented in gold enamel, precious gems and decorated with intricate designs. The sword represents the King’s role as the protector of the nation.
3) The Royal Sceptre (Than Phra Kon):
It was originally made during the reign of King Rama I. The staff was crafted from Javanese Cassia wood, with a gilded trident as the finial and an iron hilt enamelled with gold. The staff symbolizes the righteousness of the king.
4) The Royal Fan and Fly Whisk ( Walawichani)
It was made iduring the reign of King Rama I as a symbol to repel any negative forces that might adversely affect the kingdom.
5) The Royal Slippers ( Chalong Phrabat Choeng Ngon):
The royal slippers are ornate footwear worn by the King during important ceremonies. They are in the form of an open-heeled slipper with the front curling up to a point. King Rama, I ordered a pair of gold slippers to be made according to ancient Hindu belief, in colourful enamelled gold and inlaid with diamonds. The slippers represent the King’s elevated status and his connection to Thai culture and tradition.
The Thai royalty has a long history of acquiring and commissioning exquisite jewellery, one of the most important jewellery is the Royal Thai Tiara, worn by the Thai Queen Consort for almost 70 years on multiple occasions.
The Royal Thai Tiara was created by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1960 with white and yellow diamonds set in a traditional Thai style. The story goes; the centre large yellow diamonds were not sent to Paris and instead, zircons of the exact size were handed to the VCA to enable the mounting to be made precisely. The large yellow diamonds were set after the Tiara arrived in Thailand. The yellow diamond and floral motif can also be removed from the frame, to be worn as a bandeau, necklace, or bracelet.
Diamond Fringe Tiara
The Diamond Fringe Tiara is a versatile tiara which can be worn as a tiara and a necklace and is believed to be one of the oldest and most important jewellery pieces in the Thai Royal collection. This tiara is seen graciously adorned by Queen Sirikit as a tiara and necklace on important occasions.
One of the most bejewelled accessories worn by the Thai Royal family is the belts; styled either around the waist or slung across the shoulders for style. These belts hold ceremonial importance and are a symbol of dignity, and status and signify the royal position and authority of the rule
Interestingly, the belts are adorned with intricate embroidery, gemstones, and gold thread, reflecting the wealth and grandeur associated with the Thai monarchy. In the images above Queen Sirikit is seen in the ruby belt; and a diamond belt with large collet stones.
Diamonds and Pearls!
Pearls and Diamonds are known for their timeless beauty and are adorned by most royal family members. The Thai Royal Family has a vast collection of pearls and diamond jewellery passed down through generations. Did you know: Thailand is renowned for its high-quality freshwater pearls, particularly those from the Gulf of Thailand? The use of pearl jewellery in the Thai royal family reflects the nation’s rich natural resources and expertise in pearl cultivation. In the images above, Queen Sirikit and Queen Suthida are looking graciously in an important diamond Riviera necklace and Queen Sri Bajarindra’s in ropes of pearl.
For centuries, brooches are worn by the members of different royal families as a part of their regal attire during important ceremonial and formal occasions. The Thai Royal family members too had an incredible collection of brooches adorned with precious gemstones and intricate designs that reflect Thai craftsmanship and traditional motifs.
Featured above is the enamel brooch of the Former King Bhumibol Adulyadej; a diamond feather brooch and Queen Sirikit in 6 heart-shaped precious stones and diamond brooch.
The Diamond “Hongsa” Swan Brooch
The Diamond “Hongsa” Swan Brooches were made by Fabergé and feature briolette diamonds hanging from the beaks of the Swans. Queen Sirikit began using the Fabergé Brooches in the 1950s, to decorate her shoulders and soon these brooches became an iconic part of her wardrobe.
It is believed that The Diamond ‘Hongsa’ Swan Brooches were worn by Royal Children during their Tonsure Ceremony, marking the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood with a series of splendid ceremonies, which were discontinued in 1932.
What an elegant way to stylise your shoulder! Don’t you agree? The Thai Royal Family has a rich history and tradition of wearing and showcasing exquisite jewellery, often as a symbol of their status and heritage!
Ruby is considered one of the most precious gemstones and is highly valued in Thai culture and is often incorporated into the regalia of the royal family, as wearing ruby jewellery signify’s the ruler’s divine right to rule and their connection to the land. Featured above are Ruby jewels adorned by Queen Sirikit and Queen Suthida
Emeralds, in particular, have been used in royal regalia and jewellery for centuries, and their popularity has endured through generations. It is also believed that the Thai Royal Family had historical connections with countries known for their emerald deposits, such as Colombia and Zambia that may have influenced the acquisition of emeralds within the royal family. Featured above are the enchanting emerald jewels adorned by the Thai Royal Family.
One of the most important sapphire jewels is the “Queen Sirikit Sapphire Necklace” made by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1963; with 109.57 carats of blue sapphire in the centre and includes a necklace with a detachable pendant, a pair of drop earrings, a flower brooch, a bracelet and a ring. Queen Sirikit wore this necklace on many special occasions and it was recently worn by Queen Suthida at the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Queen Sirikit, wife of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and mother of the Current king of Thailand is wearing a customised diamond bib necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels; it is believed that Van Cleef & Arpels has had a long-standing relationship with the Thai royal family and has created numerous exquisite pieces for members of the Thai royal family,
Cartier, the renowned French jewellery house, has a rich history of designing royal jewels and has been entrusted with creating exquisite and iconic pieces for numerous royal families and monarchs.
The Maison has a notable connection with the Thai royal family, especially during the reign of King Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) who commissioned various jewellery pieces from Cartier during his visit to Europe. Featured above are two of the most exquisite necklaces made by Cartier.
I guess royalty, elegance, style and Cartier go hand in hand
Bracelets and bangles hold significant cultural and symbolic value in many societies, including the Thai royal family. The Thai Royal family members are seen wearing bracelets and bangles during various ceremonial occasions, religious ceremonies, and important state events. One of the bracelets that I would like to highlight is Queen Sirikit’s diamond bracelet which incorporates intricate Thai designs, style and artistic detailing. The bracelets are studded with diamonds arranged in a circular pattern and a large diamond centrepiece.
After watching such spectacular jewels, don’t you agree that the Thai royal jewels make an integral part of Thailand’s rich cultural heritage!