The Princess who would be prime minister
Princess Ubolratana on Friday veered from the entertainment circuit and into politics as she was announced as the sole prime-ministerial candidate for the Thai Raksa Chart Party, which is affiliated with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Ubolratana, 67, is the eldest child of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. She relinquished her royal title in 1972 when she married an American, Peter Jensen and changed her named to Julie Jensen.
She has two daughters, Ploypailin and Sirikitiya Jensen, and had one son, Poom Jensen, who passed away in the 2004 Tsunami tragedy that swept through Phang-nga’s Ban Nam Khem.
After her divorce in late 1998, the princess returned to Thailand and received a royal designation. She is the older sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
She has a higher media profile than any of her siblings – she founded an anti-drug campaign under her “To Be Number One” Foundation in 2002 and since then it has gained more than 31 million members, mostly young people, throughout the Kingdom.
She has also appeared in Thai movies and television and has an Instagram page with about 100,000 followers.
Meanwhile the Princess, as the Kingdom’s culture ambassador, has been promoting the film and tourism industries overseas for more than a decade.