Thai king & consort step up public appearances, visiting prisons & sweeping floors

To come across as being close to the people.

Lean Jinghui | January 12, 2021, 04:00 PM

The Thai royal family has made another public appearance in the wake of mass protests demanding reforms to the monarchy.

Thailand's palace released photographs of King Maha Vajiralongkorn visiting prisons with his royal consort, Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, on Jan. 9, according to Reuters

Visiting prisons, sweeping floors

In a segment released on the nightly royal bulletin on state and private TV channels, the king and his consort were pictured sweeping floors and speaking to officials as they inspected jails across Thailand.

Screengrab via Thai PBS Facebook

Screengrab via Thai PBS Facebook

The segment also featured inmates attesting to the benefits of the project. 

According to the Daily Mail, the prison in the released photographs is the same one Sineenat was imprisoned back in 2019, for "acting against the Queen".

Sineenat has since been reinstated to her position, and publicly declared "untainted" in an official statement from the Thai Royal Household.

Public appearances "more common" amid protests

Since returning from Europe, where the king spent most of 2020, such appearances have become "more common", according to Reuters.

In visits across Thailand, the monarch, Queen Suthida, and his daughters have been spotted taking selfies and signing royal pictures.

Sometimes, Sineenat joins in on these events.

Screengrab via Thai PBS Facebook

Screengrab via Thai PBS Facebook

Vajiralongkorn and Suthida previously rode an underground train in Bangkok, while uniformed officials prostrated before them, as per established royal formalities.

Protests calling for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to resign, and for reforms to be made to the monarchy, have only worsened since July last year.

When asked how he felt about the anti-government protesters, the king only mentioned: "We love them all the same."

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Top image adapted via Thai PBS Facebook