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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Secret American marriage prevents Thai heir from taking up throne

Thai law prohibits monarch from marrying a foreigner, which complicates Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse ascension

By Web Desk
March 02, 2024
Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse the son of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn. — AFP/File
Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse the son of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn. — AFP/File

The favored heir to Thailand's royal family, Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, may be prevented from ascending to the throne because of his secret marriage to an American woman, the New York Post reported.

Thai law prohibits a monarch from marrying a foreigner, which complicates his ascension even though he is reportedly the top choice to take over for his father, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Vivacharawongse, who is commonly referred to as "Vach," has told friends that he plans to split up with his wife, Elisa Garafano. They share two children, and a divorce would make it easier for him to take the throne without creating a succession crisis.

It was reported that Garafano had filed for divorce, however, according to the Daily Beast, she has suspended the proceedings and made it clear to her friends that she is not divorced and wants to be recognised as royalty with her children.

Vach, who is a 42-year-old attorney, has pledged his loyalty to his wife and children. The family lives in a Cape-style brick house in Mount Vernon. 

According to the Daily Beast, Vach is one of the four sons of King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his second wife, Sujarinee Vivacharawongse, who was a former actress.

In 1996, the then-crown prince divorced Vivacharawongse, who subsequently moved abroad with her children. Vajiralongkorn became king in 2016 at the age of 64.