Friday, October 14, 2016

District named after members of the Royal family

With the sad passing of HM King Bhumibol - my condolences to all Thai mourning him -, I noticed again that while there are several districts named after members of the Royal family, there so far is none directly named after the late king. There are five districts named Chaloem Phra Kiat (อำเภอเฉลิมพระเกียรติ) which are namedin his honor, as they were created as part of the 50th anniversary of his ascension to the throne, yet their name is not a direct reference to him. While I have no idea why he was not asked to grant his name, or not allowed to grant his name to any district about to be created, I would not be surprised if there will be either a new district created or an existing one renamed as part of the mourning ceremonies.

Using the power of the query engine of Wikidata, its easy to get a list of all the Thai administrative units named after persons, which of course however depends on whether all the Wikidata items have the "named after" property set accordingly. Shortening the list to the districts and those of direct relatives of the late king gives the following list, sorted by the date the districts were created. Interestingly some but not all were directly created as full districts, while other were minor districts at first. Also interesting that his mother and his sister have already two districts in their honor.
  • 2009: Galyani Vadhana, Chiang Mai, named after the sister of the late king
  • 1998: Wachirabarami, Phichit, named after the crown prince and probably next king
  • 1998: Watthana, Bangkok, named after the sister
  • 1996: Srinagarinda, Phatthalung, named after his mother. Royal name was bestowed some month after the minor district was created
  • 1994: Chulabhorn, Nakhon Si Thammarat, named after the youngest daughter
  • 1992: Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Rai, named after his mother
  • 1992: Vibhavadi, Surat Thani, named after the more distantly related Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit
  • 1991: Sirindhorn, Ubon Ratchathani, named after the second daughter
  • 1974: Ubolratana, Khon Kaen, named after the eldest daughter