Some Activities of Her Majesty the Queen

President of the Thai Red Cross Society

Her Majesty has many public functions to perform. She became President of the Thai Red Cross Society on August 12, 1956, and her keenness in the work has built up her popularity and aroused enthusiasm in the public for the cause of the Red Cross. Later on, in 1979, upon learning of the influx of about 40,000 Cambodian refugees into Trat province, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit flew to the site to see the situation herself. Then, in her capacity as President of the Thai Red Cross Society, Her Majesty set up the Khao Larn Thai Red Cross Center to give shelter, food and medical care to those Cambodian refugees who were mostly peasant families with small children and unaccompanied orphans. The Center was a refuge for these displaced people for some years.

When His Majesty entered the priesthood in 1956, Her Majesty became Regent during that interval. She performed her duties so well and so satisfactorily that, on the recommendation from the Government, Her Majesty was given a title of higher distinction, “Somdech Phraborom Rajininath.”

Since August 10, 1961, Her Majesty has been Honorary President of the Council of Social Welfare of Thailand under His Majesty’s patronage.

Promoting Thai National Costumes

Her Majesty the Queen is naturally endowed with artistic talents and is keenly interested in the world of arts and culture, especially those of Thailand. Her cultural promotion activities date back to 1960, when she accompanied His Majesty the King on a state visit to Europe and the United States. She noticed at the time that there were no national dresses for Thai women, unlike the Indian Sari or the Japanese Kimono, to name only two. She concluded it was time to create such costumes for the sake of national identity. With this in mind, Her Majesty made a research into traditional costumes that Thai women had worn in different historical periods, from the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya to the Rattanakosin (Bangkok) Periods. Then she set out to adapt and modify these different modes into Thai national costumes for present-day use. Initially, there were five designs, all worn with a long skirt. Three of these have simple wrap-around skirts and the other two have a pleated fold in the middle, running the entire length of the skirts. These five designs were given such names as Thai Ruan Ton, Thai Chitralada, Thai Amarin, Thai Chakri and Thai Borom Phiman. Later on, more designs were gradually added to the collection. These designs were launched by Her Majesty the Queen during the course of the state visits and on subsequent occasions, until they are now internationally recognized as Thai national costumes.

The promotion of Thai national costumes has had lasting consequences on Thai traditional handicrafts and cottage industries, as the costumes are particularly suited to hand-woven silk, plain, brocade or the patterned, tie-dye silk, called the mud-mee. These costumes are further enhanced by traditional handbags, which again are the products of delicate craftsmanship in wickerwork.

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[ King Bhumibol Adulyadej | Queen Sirikit| Princess Ubol Ratana| Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn| Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn| Princess Chulabhorn| Royal Family]

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