Vajiralongkorn wields dominant control over his countrys politics and media
When Thailands 67-year-old King Maha Vajiralongkorn stripped his royal consort of her titles on Monday, it sent shockwaves through Thai society. Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi had spent several years as a companion to the monarch alongside the now queen, but had only been given her official title in July.
All images of her disappeared from the palace website and an unverified Instagram account in her name was shut down overnight.
Thai kings were historically polygamous, with consorts appointed in addition to queens, but until this year the title had not been used since the country became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.
While Sineenat was the first officially named consort to a Thai king since the 1920s, she was not the first woman in Vajiralongkorns life to lose her position. In 2014 he stripped Srirasmi Akrapongpreecha, his third wife, of most of her titles and had members of her family arrested. His second wife, Sujarinee Vivacharawongse, fled to the US after Vajiralongkorn denounced her in 1996 and disowned their four sons.