Bangkok: Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has married the deputy head of his personal guard force and given her the title of queen. The Wednesday wedding came as a surprise to many as the formal announcement was made in the Royal Gazette and footage from the wedding ceremony was shown on the nightly Royal News segment aired on all Thai television channels.

A video of Queen Suthida bowing before the King was shown on the TV channels. The Queen presented a tray of flowers and joss sticks, and in return was bestowed traditional gifts associated with royal power.

Vajiralongkorn known as King Rama X, became the constitutional monarch after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016. It must be noted that Vajiralongkorn will be officially crowned as per traditional Buddhist and Brahmin ceremonies today.

Following his crowning, a procession will be carried through Bangkok the next day, on Friday.

Queen Suthida was previously a flight attendant for Thai Airways and was declared as a deputy commander of Vajiralongkorn’s bodyguard unit. Suthida was named a full General in the Royal Thai Army in December 2016, and the deputy commander of the King’s personal guard in 2017.

Several dignitaries were present at the wedding including Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the leader of the military government, as well as other members of the royal family and palace advisers.

Vajiralongkorn has been married thrice. He divorced his previous wife in 2014 with whom he has a son.