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Thai Princess Bajrakitiyabha collapses after heart attack, on life support as death rumours flood social media

Amrutha PagadDecember 15, 2022 | 15:59 IST

The Thailand Royal family has announced that Princess Bajrakitiyabha, 44, has 'lost consciousness', even as rumours 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 a cardiac arrest. 

Reports say that CPR was carried out for over an hour, but it was not successful. Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendira Debyavati was flown to Bangkok and is being kept on ECMO machine, say reports, which means she is being artificially kept alive. 

A royal statement claims that the Princess lost consciousness on Wednesday, but doesn't confirm whether she's dead. 

Here's what is known:

  • Princess Bajrakitiyabha was running with her dogs in a park on Wednesday, December 14, when she suffered a heart attack.¬†
  • The princess suffered the 'heart problem'¬†at a training ground of the Military Dog Battalion in 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 is being held till December 19.
  • Her father, King Vajiralongkorn, reportedly reached the site in a helicopter.
  • She didn't respond to CPR and was rushed to Pak Chong Nana Hospital, before being airlifted to the¬†Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok in a military helicopter.¬†
  • Princess Bajrakitiyabha is just 44 years old, and the news of her heart failure has come as a shock to people.

  • On the other side, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, who was in Brussels for EU-ASEAN summit, left before schedule.¬†
  • Reports say there is a possibility that Princess Bajrakitiyabha is¬†being kept artificially alive on an ECMO machine for days; and it can be¬†weeks or even months before her death is announced, since it would have a huge impact on Thailand's monarchy.¬†

What does it mean for Thailand's monarchy? Princess Bajrakitiyabha's death could have far-reaching repercussions for the Thai monarchy. 

Princess Bajrakitiyabha (R) and Dipangkorn (C). Photo: AFP
  • The princess is known as 'Princess Bha' in Thailand.¬†
  • Her younger half-brother Dipangkorn has autism and hence, it was assumed that Princess Bajrakitiyabha would either be the next monarch or serve as the regent to her brother.¬†
  • Princess Bajrakitiyabha¬†is also the only child of King Vajiralongkorn out of 6 others, to be born to a woman from the Thai royal lineage. Others were born to commoners.¬†
  • Prince¬†Dipangkorn¬†is the only recognised son of the Thai King. He has four other sons, who have been stripped of their royal titles.¬†
  • There is a possibility that¬†King Vajiralongkorn's sister¬†Sirindhorn¬†is also considered for the throne.

Princess Bajrakitiyabha has also served as the Thai 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 Thailand's king in December 2016, after his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej died. The current king has seen much resentment against the monarchy, thanks to his philandering ways. Thailand has also seen protests against the monarchy in the recent past, calling for curbing of the king's powers. Criticism against the royal family, however, is prohibited in Thailand.

Last updated: December 15, 2022 | 18:00
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