Antique Danish World War I Red Cross Postcard Signed by King Vajiravudh Rama VI of Siam Thailand
Rare Danish Red Cross postcard signed during World War I by King Vajiravudh, (Rama VI) of Siam(1880-1925), signed in black ink in Thai as well as English "Rama R".
The legend in Danish reads:
"All the World Over"
He was the sixth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1910 until his death. He was born Prince Vajiravudh on 1 January 1880 to King Chulalongkorn and one of his four queens, Saovabha. In 1888, upon coming of age, Vajiravudh received the title Krom Khun Thep Dvaravati.
He was first educated in the royal palace in Siamese and English. In 1895, his half-brother Crown Prince Vajirunhis died and Vajiravudh was appointed the new Crown Prince of Siam. He continued his education in Britain, at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1898 and was commissioned briefly in the Durham Light Infantry upon graduation. He studied law and history at Christ Church, Oxford in 1899, where he was a member of the exclusive Bullingdon Club. However, he suffered from appendicitis that barred him from graduating in 1901. On behalf of his father, King Chulalongkorn, he attended the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902.
Crown Prince Vajiravudh returned to Siam in 1902 and in 1904 became a temporary monk, in accordance with Siamese tradition. In 1906, his father Chulalongkorn travelled to Europe to seek treatment for his lung disease, and Chulalongkorn made Vajiravudh Regent of Siam. One of Crown Prince Vajiravudh's accomplishments during this regency was his supervision of the construction of the equestrian statue of King Chulalongkorn. Chulalongkorn died on 23 October 1910, and Vajiravudh succeeded his father as King of Siam.
Radicals expected a new constitution upon the coronation of Vajiravudh. However, no constitution was forthcoming. In 1911, the Wuchang Uprising that led to the fall of Qing dynasty prompted Siamese radicals to act. So, for the first time in Siam, an attempt was made to overthrow the monarchy and establish democracy. Prince Chakrabongse arrested all the conspirators. Their sentences were severe, ranging from execution to long-term imprisonment. However, Vajiravudh rescinded the punishments and released the plotters, saying that what they did was for the sake of the kingdom.
Rama VI inherited his father's plan of building a modern nation although he was skeptical. Disagreements occurred incessantly with "old aristocrats", many of whom were his relatives such as the celebrated Prince Damrong, his uncle, who took charge of the Ministry of Interior. As more and more corruption in the newly created provinces was reported, Rama VI created a viceroy system. Viceroys, appointed directly by the king, were sent to supervise provincial governors and local officials.
King Vajiravudh was one of Thailand's highly renowned artists, writing modern novels, short stories, newspaper articles, poems, plays, and journals. He translated many of English literature and French literature into Thai.
The reconciliation with European powers on unequal treaties progressed gradually, while the financial crisis was taking a great toll on Siam as another loan was taken from Britain and the firing of numerous government officials occurred. In 1925 Vajiravudh had to dissolve his Nakorn Sri Thammarat Regiment and merged provinces into larger units to lower maintenance costs.
In November 1925, it was announced that Vajiravudh fell ill. Princess Consort Suvadhana was then pregnant. Vajiravudh then announced his succession instructions: if Princess Suvadhana gave birth to a son, the throne would go to him. If not, the throne would pass to his surviving brother, Prince Prajadhipok of Sukhothai. He barred Princess Inthrasaksachi from being interred with him in the future and instead granted that right to Princess Suvadhana. And Vajiravudh also barred his uncle, Prince Damrong, from the government.
On the night of 24 November, Princess Suvadhana gave birth to a princess only two hours before Vajiravudh's death. Vajiravudh glimpsed of his sole daughter before his demise. The throne passed to his brother, Prajadhipok, who named Vajiravudh's daughter as Princess Bejaratana.
Size: 14 x 9 cm approx