Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn surprised the nation after marrying the deputy commander of his personal security, Suthida Tidjai.
The newly crowned Queen Suthida will hold royal title and status as part of the royal family.
The announcement came just three days before his much-awaited coronation on Saturday and was made in the royal gazette.
King Vajiralongkorn and Suthida’s wedding footage showing other members of the royal family and palace advisers in attendance was aired on all Thai television channel on Wednesday evening.
Vajiralongkorn assumed the role of the constitutional monarch after his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who sat on the throne for seven decades passed away in October 2016.
King Vajiralongkorn, also known by his title King Rama X, has seven children from his previous marriage. He has been married and divorced three times.
Little is known about Queen Suthida, but she is believed to be 40 years old, Suthida previously worked as a flight attendant for Thai Airways International before she joined the palace guard in 2013.
In 2014, she was appointed by Vajiralongkorn as deputy commander of his bodyguard unit. He also made her a full general in the Royal Thai Army in 2016 shortly after he took the throne.
But although their relationship has never been officially acknowledged. Suthida has been seen with him in public for years and has long been rumored to be romantically linked with the king.
During the ceremony, the king is seen pouring sacred water on the head of Queen Suthida as she lay on the ground in front of him. After that, they signed a marriage registry, which was also signed by the King’s sister, Princess Sirindhorn, and Privy Council head Prem Tinsulanonda as witnesses.
The footage also showed Queen Suthida prostrating herself before the King, as is customary in Thailand.