Friday, 14 October 2016

Air Chief Marshal Foo Foo

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand died yesterday and 2016, a year that's already set several records for global weirdness, might get more bizarre still. Meet the heir to the throne of Thailand, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn:
Ralph Boyce, the former head of the US embassy in Bangkok, wrote an extraordinary account of a dinner with Thailand’s Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and the prince’s dog, Foo Foo, which held the rank of Air Chief Marshal.

Mr Boyce described the dinner in a valedictory dispatch in November, 2007, when he “paid a farewell call” on the 58-year-old Crown Prince. The prince’s consort, Princess Srirasmi, “confirmed that the Crown Prince’s miniature poodle, Foo Foo, currently holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal”, wrote the ambassador.

“Foo Foo was present at the event, dressed in formal evening attire complete with paw mitts, and at one point during the band’s second number, he jumped up on to 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.”

Under Thai law, criticism of the royal family is forbidden, but the Crown Prince was at the centre of a scandal in 2009 when an Australian TV channel obtained a video of a lavish birthday party he had thrown for Foo Foo, during which Princess Srirasmi, 39, sat topless.
Gordon Rayner, writing in The Telegraph

There's speculation that the Thai game of thrones may be rigged in the hope of bypassing Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and fishing somebody who isn't functionally insane out the royal gene pool.
Air Chief Marshal Foo Foo, I presume?*

*Image © 20th Century Fox - I'm just going to mumble "fair use" and hope nobody notices...