Exclusively from Switzerland: Here the Thai King gets on his bike

Now, there’s an image to prove the story: The Thai King cycles with his wife and a large entourage through the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. On Friday he was seen in Rothenburg, and now in Horw.

Christian Glaus

On official occasions, he appears in noble uniforms. Privately he dresses rather – let’s say particular: The Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X. On Sunday evening he showed up at the Seehotel Kastanienbaum near Lucerne, Switzerland, dressed in a crop top revealing his belly. Pictures, that a reader of our newspaper shot, prove that.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X (right) and his wife, Queen Suthida are getting on a bike.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X (right) and his wife, Queen Suthida are getting on a bike.

Rama X (right) is leaving the Seehotel Kastanienbaum.

Rama X (right) is leaving the Seehotel Kastanienbaum.

At the Hotel itself, nobody wanted to confirm the high attendance. According to statements from several readers, King Rama X and his entire entourage drove from the village to the Seehotel Kastanienbaum. There he made a half-hour break at about 6:45 pm before returning the same route.

Servants approach only kneeling

A reader who filmed the event was having a great time. «A King in a cropped dress, that looks rather weird» he says. The staff had saluted. When they approached Rama X, it was only on their knees. They followed the King, who apparently only went to the toilet in the Seehotel and drank a glass of water, at every turn. Kneeling on the ground, one of them held the King's racing bike. As he drove off, he was followed by his entourage, equipped with helmet cameras.

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida.  (EPA, Bangkok, 2. Mai 2019)

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida.  (EPA, Bangkok, 2. Mai 2019)

Thus, it’s now public, what happens on the royal excursions. It is unclear, however, what exactly Rama X is doing in central Switzerland. A real round trip by bike? Or just short breaks? The Thai Embassy does not want to provide any information on request. The Lucerne police is not informed about the high visit. It’s conceivable that Rama X drove on to the Glasi in Hergiswil after the stopover in Horw. He already shopped there last October, as the Glasi posted on Facebook.

It’s also possible that the King stayed in Engelberg, as he regularly does. That he flew back to Munich - he has a villa nearby - is on the other hand is out of question. His jet flew from Zurich to Munich on Sunday afternoon.

The equipment makes it seem like the King is cycling regularly. However, little is known about his hobbies, says Thomas Bürgisser, Royal expert for the «Schweizer Illustrierte»: «The royal family is living in seclusion. Therefore, there is much speculation, but only a few confirmed information.» Seclusion: This fits in with the image that the King leaves with his surprising appearance in the canton of Lucerne. Bürgisser says: «In Thailand the King is well known. Maybe that's why he's on a bike tour in Switzerland, because he can move much more freely here.»