23.10.

1910: Rama V: The King who Married his Half-Sisters and had a Total of 96 Wives and Concubines

1910: Rama V: The King who Married his Half-Sisters and had a Total of 96 Wives and Concubines
Photo Credit To http://www.thailanguagehut.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/King-Rama-V.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event:
  • Rama V had an incredible 96 wives and concubines. They bore him 33 sons and 44 daughters. He even had children with his half-sisters.

One of the greatest leaders in the history of Siam (now Thailand), King Rama V, died on this day in 1910. Film viewers are likely to know Rama V from the novels and movies on British governess Anna Leonowens (Anna and the King of Siam, The King and I), who arrived to Siam as a teacher of King Mongkut’s children. Rama V was Mongkut’s oldest son and heir, so that he appears as a boy whom Anna teaches.

Rama V inherited the throne in 1868, when he was only 15 years old. As a young and well-educated king, Rama V wanted to introduce reforms in the country, with the aim of modernizing it. For example, he abolished the law according to which his subjects were required to prostrate themselves before their  king.

It is interesting that Rama V even married two of his half-sisters, daughters of his father, Mongkut (born to different mothers). These girls were later also taught by the mentioned Anna Leonowens.

Rama V had an incredible 96 wives and concubines. They bore him 33 sons and 44 daughters. He even had children with his half-sisters. Indeed, Bhumibol Adulyadej, the current King of Thailand and the richest king in the world, is the grandson of Rama V and one of his half-sisters.

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