“Vajiravudh Day” or “Mahathirawat Chao Day” marks the death King Phra Ramathibodi Srisinthon Maha Vajiravudh Phra Mongkutklao or King Rama VI. He passed away at 01.45 hrs. On 26 November, 1925, but Thai traditions still consider this to be on 25 November, so the anniversary of his death is held on 25 November each year. King Rama VI was 45 years old and had been on the throne for fifteen years.
King Rama VI was born to King Chulalongkorn and Queen Saovabha on 1 January 1880. He was King Chulalongkorn’s 29th son and the first Chakri heir apparent to ascend to the throne with full support of the Royal Family, ministers, senior officials, and the Thai people at large.
King Rama VI’s coronation (November 11, 1911) saw the biggest gathering of European royalty in Asia (Prince Fushimi of Japan also attended). He chose the reigning title of Pra Mongkut Klao, as King Mongkut (King Rama IV) was fond of the European ways and wanted there to be a King Monkut II. However, he preferred to call himself King Rama VI, and also changed the names of his predecessors to Rama.
At the close of the coronation festivities, the foreign royals were taken to the countryside with Prince Chakrabongse and Mom Catherine as their guides, resulting in the construction of the seaside resorts of Hua Hin.
King Rama VI is remembered for his royal duties in many fields including politics, government, military, education, public health and foreign affairs. He was also prominent in the field of literature with royal writing, prose and poetry, including translation of many of the works of William Shakespeare, a favourite author.