The King of Thailand has moved into a luxury hotel in south Germany with his entire entourage, which reportedly includes a ‘harem’ of 20 women.
Maha Vajiralongkorn, known as King Rama X, was given special permission to book out the entire four-star Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Bavaria despite lockdown rules.
The royal party was deemed a ‘homogenous group that does not change composition’, meaning the hotel could be reclassified as a residential home for the duration of the stay.
Thai social media has been alight with criticism of the king, risking up to 15 years’ jail as insulting the monarchy is an offence under national law.
It’s believed Rama X has not appeared in public in Thailand since February. Parts of the country have begun locking down as the death toll increased to nine and the total number of confirmed infections to 1,524.
German media have reported that the royal entourage included a ‘harem’ of 20 concubines and that 119 of its members have been sent home after being suspected of contracting the virus. The hotel is located in the ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkrichen.
The king, a keen cyclist, is said to have made a number of bike excursions in the area, although local officials said they were not aware of any such trips taking place.
He is believed to own a large holiday home 25 miles away by Lake Starnberg and is a frequent visitor to Bavaria.
The monarch was educated at Millfield, a boarding school in Somerset, and made international headlines when US diplomatic cables were leaked suggesting he had promoted his poodle Fufu to air chief marshal in the Royal Thai Air Force.
Fufu’s death in 2015, a year before Rama X ascended to the throne, was followed by a lavish four-day funeral. The occasion was used by Thai commentators and social media users to skirt the anti-free speech laws with veiled remarks about the monarchy.