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Chulalongkorn (1853-1910), The King of Siam
13.8 x 9.9 cm (image)
The Royal Collection
Photograph showing full length portrait of the King of Siam, seated with right leg crossed over his left leg. He looks slightly to the left. He wears trousers that stop below the knee. He wears four Order Stars and the Order of Chakri badge around his neck. Vignette. Chulalongkorn, King of Thailand, was born in 1853. He was educated by English teachers as a child and acquired a good knowledge of the English language and Western culture. He succeeded his father, King Mongkut, in 1868, and as an innovation allowed Europeans to be present at his coronation. Realising that change was essential if Thailand was to retain her independence and deal on equal terms with Western nations, he instigated a number of reforms, including the abolition of slavery and the proclamation of liberty of conscience. Court etiquette was simplified and many public works were carried out. Several of his sons were educated in England and he visited this country in 1897. He was received by Queen Victoria at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight on 4 August. He died in 1910.