Well, it seems the cat is out of the bag or Fi Fi, the successor to Foo Foo, the personal poodle to the Crown Prince of Thailand – and now the world appears to know there is something not quite right with the heir to the throne of Thailand.
This week Fi Fi featured in photos published on the front page of German’s mass circulation Bild Zeitung, but on this occasion the dog is playing second fiddle as the Prince appears to be dressed in jeans, a tiny tank top, and flip flops – and is covered in tattoos.
The tattoos were not there last year when he took part in his charity bike ride in Bangkok.
|Foo Foo or Fu Fu|
But he is much more famous as the birthday boy in a party in the Prince’s private residence in Bangkok in which the Prince and his then Princess, third wife Princess Srirasmi, sang him happy birthday.
Princess Srirasmi was only wearing a G-string at the time and she also appeared to be, according to the Daily Mail, on one occasion even eating out of Foo Foo’s bowl.
Needless to say the Mail was then blocked in Thailand.
My former Bangkok based journalist colleague Andrew McGregor Marshall linked the story on Facebook after which his Thai wife in Bangkok was taken in for questioning by the thought police.
|Some wag put this on the net 'proving' Bild doctored the pictures Picture BILD ZEITUNG|
Thankfully after this act of bullying she was later released. But the authorities do not often work on logic.
The arrest of Noppawan ‘Ploy’ of course helped the pictures of the Crown Prince go viral. In the pictures with him was Fi Fi with his latest Princess. – a Thai airways flight attendant by secondary career – at Munich airport.
|No tattoos last year|
The authorities immediately countered that the photos were photo-shopped. I take it they were referring to the tattoos. If they were not then he has some scrubbing to do unless of they are not real tattoos but transfers, as has been suggested. But Bild insists the pictures have not been doctored in any way.
The Thai censors will be having their hands full blocking the sites now running these pictures.
Who to believe? The Thai authorities or a German tabloid. My money is on Bild.
And the Suddeutsche Zeitung later ran a story about the Crown Prince buying a mansion called Villa Stolberg in Bayern and the agent insisted he was wearing a ‘mid-riff baring T-shirt when he visited.
But that is not the point. The fact they were published indicates that all is not well. And some people hold him in contempt. Indeed I bet the German authorities do not feel blessed having him on their soil.
Secondly, whether he has tattoos or not, his dress code, while fine within the confines of his own palaces where he can wear a tu-tu if he wishes, is contemptuous of people around him – and this is the future King of Thailand!
Bild two years earlier published a picture of the Prince going shopping at a garden centre in his (197,000 Euros) Porsche 911 turbo, describing him as the ‘swank Prince’.
The overall picture is that he is now being portrayed world-wide as something of buffoon.
Were that just the case…. Stories have been circulating about him for the last thirty plus years, and few of a generous nature, and may describing him as a predator attempting to live the life of Kings on by,.
Author and journalist Paul Handley incidentally has voiced the view on the website ‘New Mandala’ that the Prince’s tattoos are not Thai – but similar to the Japanese ‘Yakuza’ – an interesting thought!
Journalists Paul Handley and Andrew McGregor Marshall have both written books about the Thai Monarchy. Neither are flattering. Who to believe? The authors or the Thai authorities who have banned the books and would arrest them if they set foot in the country?.
The fact is Foreign Correspondents based in Thailand do not write negatively about the Royal family. They would be immediately deported or worse.
The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand produced a coffee table book to honour the King. It even includes an article I wrote for the ‘Times’ – which I now think I regret.
It is possible and sensible to live in Thailand without writing about Royalty. Indeed this a sensitive matter with Thais and why upset those sensibilities when you do not need to.
It seems now has come the time when the story being the succession cannot be surpressed any more.
But to combat this the current government is carrying out just about every undemocratic and repressive act in the very name of Royalty – and in the name of a King who is undoubtedly too ill to speak himself.
Up until now King Bumphol Adulyadej has always been referred to as the ‘father of the Thai people’ and a ‘revered monarch’. That is unlikely to change any time soon in Thailand. But on the international stage it is a different matter.
And Thailand will eventually come of age when the people do not swallow everything they are told from the age when they are able to start listening.
From Foo Foo's ridiculous Wikipedia entry:
Fufu came to wider public attention in 2007 when he appeared in a leaked video showing the Crown Prince's third wife, Princess Srirasm, feeding a birthday cake to the dog while wearing only a G-string. The video, which was thought to have been leaked by opponents of the Crown Prince, caused a sensation in Thailand and exposed a hidden struggle for the right to succeed the ailing Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej.
A few months later, US Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce attended a gala dinner in honour of the Crown Prince at which the dog appeared "dressed in formal evening attire complete with paw mitts".According to the ambassador's cable to Washington, subsequently released by WikiLeaks, "at one point during the band's second number, he jumped up onto the head table and began lapping from the guests' water glasses, including my own. The air chief marshal's antics drew the full attention of the 600-plus audience members, and remains the talk of the town to this day."
The death of Fufu in early 2015 was followed by four days of Buddhist funeral rites and the dog's cremation, images from which were widely shared on social media in Thailand. The funeral attracted commentary from Thais as an oblique and ironic reflection of worries over the king's succession, which cannot be aired openly in Thailand due to a lèse majesté law that attracts draconian penalties.[