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jeudi 27 novembre 2014

King Rama IV (also known as King Mongkut) is well known in contemporary culture by a famous Broadway musical The King and I and a famous Hollywood film Anna and the King.

During the period of colonial expansion around the region known today as Mainland Southeast Asia, King Rama IV negotiated sovereignty for Siam in many ways, including by gifting two replicas of the Royal Thai crown.

On the 5th December 1857 (two years after Bowring Treaty in 1855 which liberalized trade with the United Kingdom in Siam) King Mongkut presented Queen Victoria with the first replica of the Royal Thai crown through a Thai ambassador’s offering at Windsor Castle.

On the 27th June 1861 King Mongkut presented Emperor and President Napoleon III with the second replica of the Royal Thai crown, again through a Thai ambassador’s offering, at the Château de Fontainebleau.

(c) A Replica of Royal Thai Crown

Replica of the Royal Thai Crown preserved at the Château de Fontainebleau, France


Inscription documenting the offering of the crown replica

mardi 25 novembre 2014

after a croquis by M. C. Yriarte and Moullin, « Solemn reception of the Siam ambassadors by S. M. Napoléon III in Fontainebleau, the 29th June 1861 »

M. C. Yriarte, « Phraya Sripipat Rattana Rachakosa Thipbodi or Pae Bunnag, Siamese Ambassador resting at the embassy palace, dictates his travel impressions to his secretaries »