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A Souvenir Book of the Foundation's 15th Anniversary

In December 2023, the Foundation has published a non-commercial souvenir book, about the many activities which were organized to celebrate its 15th anniversary in January.
The book includes a chapter about most of the events, with hundreds of pictures about the invited guests, highlights, and performances. Many friends and partners have written short texts, expressing their feelings about the anniversary, the various activities, or the work of the Foundation since 15 years.

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Annual meeting of the board of the Foundation.

On the 21st of April 2023, the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Foundation held its annual board meeting.

Various subjects were part of the agenda of the meeting, including a slight modification of one of its three objectives.

Following the agreement of the board, the three objectives of the Foundation are now:

- To preserve the memory of the work and achievements of Chao Phya Abhai Raja in Siam.

- To help the society.

- To contribute to friendship between the Thai society and other societies in good relations with the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Foundation.

The other points on the agenda included a review of the accounts, discussions about the past and future projects, and some general administration matters.

The meeting was attended by:

- Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Président.

- M.R. Priyanandana Rangsit, Vice-President.

- Khun Tuenjai Sinthuvnik, board member.

- Khun Pariwat Bumroongdham, board member.

- Khun Kongpetch Santisuphaporn, board member.

- Dr. Jaruwaree Snitwongse Na Ayuthaya, board member.

- Khun Kulachad Kukaewkasen, board member.

- Mr. Philip Coates, board member (attending via Zoom).


The 15th Anniversary of the

Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation,

celebrated in several events honored by the presence of

H.R.H. Princess Lea of Belgium.

18th to 27th of January 2023

In January 2023 the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary in a series of events in Bangkok. On this occasion, the Foundation has invited H.R.H. Princess Lea of Belgium to make a private to Thailand, an invitation that the Princess has graciously accepted. The events were attended by the numerous friends and supporters of the Foundation.

During her private visit, the Belgian Princess presided over an important charity gala dinner, a conference about Chao Phya Abhai Raja, and the opening of an exhibition, together with H.S.H. Prince (Mom Chao) Chalermsuk Yugala.

Besides these important events, other activities were hosted by the Foundation, its friends, or partners, during which Princess Lea could strenghten the already established friendly relations within the Thai society. 

The Candlelight Gala Dinner.

The most important event organized to Celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation was the Candlelight Gala Dinner, held at The Athenee Bangkok on the 19th of January 2023.
Princess Lea presided over the gala together with H.S.H. Prince (Mom Chao) Chalermsuk Yugala, and numerous distinguished guests of the Thai society.

The event combined charity with glamour. On the occasion of this sophisticated evening, the Foundation indeed made 15 donations to associations and project which have been part of its history. But besides the donations made by the Foundation, a collaboration with world renowned jeweler Mouawad and Miss Universe Thailand not only added beauty and glamour to the program, but also opportunities for the guests to further help the society. To mark 15 years of activities of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation, Mouawad did craft 15 small replicas of the Miss Universe crown, and these could each be exchanged for donations of 200,000b. The benefit obtained from the crown replicas was equally shared and fully donated to the Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. the Princess Mother, and the Prince and Princess Alexandre Mutual Aid Fund, the charity of Princess Lea.

The Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. the Princess Mother had a special place in the program of the gala, including during an amazing and very heart-warming fashion finale. The finale stared Miss Universe Thailand 2022 and other wonderful models, but also amputees supported by the Prostheses Foundation who were dressed by the Thai fashion house Voravaj Bangkok. Music and performances completed the program of this evening which was truly memorable.

Be welcome to view some of the videos of the event in the Youtube section of our website.


The WALK! Exhibition.

In the morning of the 19th of January 2023, Princess Lea of Belgium and Prince (Mom Chao) Chalermsuk Yugala officially opened the WALK! Exhibition at the 4th floor of Central Embassy.

This exhibition was the result of a collaboration between the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation, the Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. the Princess Mother, and the Thai fashion house Voravaj Bangkok.

Oversized photographs of amputee models dressed by Voravaj Bangkok were exhibited. But while the amputees may have looked glamorous in the exhibition, this heart-warming event was not only about fashion. Most importantly, it was a tribute to those who devote their life to help others at the Prostheses Foundation, and to the tenacity and good spirit of the amputees who must overcome very difficult times.

The message that this exhibition wanted to share is that: With help and moral support, with courage and the will to overcome adversity, and with the correct medical assistance, amputees can not only regain a normal life, but they also reach their dreams…


A conference about Chao Phya Abhai Raja & Unheard Stories of Lady Abhai Raja and her Daughters’ Siamese Life.

This conference was organized in partnership with the Law Faculty of Thammasat University, and took place at The Oriental Bangkok. The program was highly interesting and offered the guests new insights of the work and life of Chao Phya Abhai Raja Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, General Advisor to King Rama V, and his family in Siam. 

The venue for this conference had not been chosen by coincidence.
Indeed, on the 27th of September 1892, when Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns disembarked from the boat that brought him to Bangkok, he went straight to The Oriental. From there he immediately sent a message to Prince Damrong to report for duty. The choice of the Chao Phya room of The Oriental for this event thus brought the guests back in time.

The first part of the conference commemorated the work and achievements of Chao Phya Abhai Raja in Siam, with a talk by Mr. Slaikate Wattanapan, Chief Justice and ex-President of the Supreme Court. The second part was presented by Mrs. Veronique Godding, a great-great granddaughter of Chao Phya Abhai Raja and Lady Abhai Raja. For several years Mrs. Veronique made research about her ancestors and gathered lots of information from the family archives. During her talk she shared with the audience stories yet unheard about their life in Siam.


Piano Recital at the Assumption University of Thailand.

The private visit of Princess Lea to Thailand will included diverse activities, all organized by the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation and its friends and partners.

These activities included a piano recital by the two Thai laureates of the 2022 International Mozart Competition. This recital took place at the St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Chapel of the Suvarnabhumi campus of the Assumption University of Thailand.

Once again, the choice of the venue was not a coincidence. Indeed, there is a strong historical link between Belgium and the university, which late Queen Fabiola visited on two occasions in the past. An interesting anecdote is that the chandeliers of the chapel were sent to the university by the Queen of the Belgians herself. After the recital, Princess Lea had the opportunity to visit the campus with its President, Rev. Brother Bancha Saenghiran, and to meet and discuss with Thai and international students.

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