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Princess Chakri Sirindhorn

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was born on 2nd April 1955, the third child of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand.

She is styled as Her Royal Highness.She was conferred the title of “Somdech Phra Debaratana Rajasuda Chao Fah Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Rathasimakunakornpiyajat Sayam Boroma Rajakumari” by His Majesty the King on December 5, 1977. The English translation of her full title, bestowed on her by HM the King, is "HRH Princess Maha Chakri" -- not "HRH Crown Princess" (though it is considered to be the equivalent of a crown prince).

Easily the most beloved member of the royal family, after the King and Queen, Princess Sirindhorn is affectionately known as Phra Thep (Thai: พระเทพ), a thep being a celestial maiden. She has never married, instead spending much of her life helping her royal father with his projects. She enjoys the widespread admiration of the Thai people and is considered her father's intellectual successor.


Education and Training

HRH studied from kindergarten to high school at Chitralada School in Bangkok. She ranked first in the National School Examinations in the primary level (grade 7) in 1967 and in upper secondary level (grade 12) in 1972.

Ranked fourth in the National University Entrance Examination, HRH enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, first class honor, gold medal in History in 1976. She continued her studies in two graduate programs concurrently, obtaining an M.A. in Oriental Epigraphy (Sanskrit and Cambodian) from Silpakorn University in 1978, and an M.A. in Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University in 1980. She enrolled in a doctoral program at Srinakharinwirot University (former College of Education) in 1981, and was awarded a doctoral degree in Development Education in 1987.

The principle of using education as a means for community and social development which HRH has acquired during her doctoral studies, together with her former experiences in the field, has served as a solid base for her subsequent involvement in community development activities.

In addition to her formal degree programs, HRH has attended several training courses and workshops to enhance her knowledge and skills in effective integrated development. These subjects include computer, cartography, meteorology, survey and photogrammetry, remote sensing and geographic information system and nutrition.



Work Experience

HRH has acquired first-hand experiences in working for Their Majesties the King and Queens development projects in such fields as health and hygiene, education, water resource development, agriculture and cottage industry by regularly accompanying Their Majesties on visits to remote areas since the age of sixteen (in 1970). From these experiences, she has developed special interests in agricultural extension to improve school children nutritional conditions; supporting education from pre-school to tertiary levels; and mother and child care. She has also concentrated on helping the handicapped, especially in using information technology (IT) to develop independent living and learning skill.

HRH runs several philanthropic organizations and foundations. She is Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society since 1977; Executive Chairman of the Chaipattana Foundation (in charge of His Majesty's development and environmental preservation projects), Ananda Mahidol Foundation (to promote higher education), the King Rama II Foundation (to conserve and promote Thai Culture); President of the Sai Jai Thai Foundation (to support disabled veterans), Prince Mahidol Award Foundation (to award prizes annually to members of the international community for outstanding performances in the fields of medicine and public health); and Adviser of the Committee of Thai Junior Encyclopedia Project by Royal Command of H.M. the King.

HRH began her teaching career in 1979 when she started teaching General Education Program at Chulalongkorn University. A year later, she joined the Department of Law and Social Sciences, in the Academic Division of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. Presently she is Director of the Department of History, and has played an active part in revising its curriculum. She also supervises the Thai Music Club of the Academy. She occasionally gives special lectures at several other institutions. She regularly attends academic conferences and seminars both in and outside the country.

In addition, HRH represents Their Majesties in various royal functions. She also presides over ceremonies as well as other social and charity functions all through the year.

In 1991, HRH was awarded the Magsaysay Award for Public Service.



Hobbies and Recreation

HRH likes to travel in the country and abroad to obtain knowledge of physical geography and peoples ways of living. One of her favorite pasttimes is writing articles, poetry and short stories. Proceeds from her written accounts of her overseas travels are the main source of income of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation which was set up in 1979 to support needy students in schools, vocational colleges and universities. In 1997 the number of students receiving grants from the Foundation is approximately 1,500.

HRH loves Thai literature and studies literature of other countries. She enjoys playing classical Thai instruments and practising Thai classical dancing. She sometimes paints. She is also keen on sports : jogging, swimming, biking and trekking, which gives her an opportunity to learn about plants, trees and geographical features of the areas.



Languages

In addition to her knowledge of Pali, Sanskrit and Cambodian, HRH is communicative in both English and French and has been learning Chinese, German and Latin.


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