BANGKOK - The estranged second oldest son of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has made an unexpected visit to the country, his first in almost three decades, in a return that surprised many in the kingdom. Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, 42, who has been living and working in the United States, visited a daycare center for underprivileged children in Bangkok on Tuesday. “I am delighted to return to Thailand, I have been warmly welcomed. I have been away for a long time, 27 years,” Vacharaesorn told reporters at the Foundation for Slum Child Care. Vacharaesorn is the second of four sons of King Vajiralongkorn, 71, and his second wife, Yuvadhida Polpraserth, who he married in 1994 and later divorced. Vacharaesorn, his mother and siblings were estranged after the separation and he does not hold a formal royal title.
The Royal Palace has not released any official information or public comment on his visit. Vacharaesorn’s trip to his homeland comes at a difficult time for the royal family after the King’s oldest child, 44-year-old Princess Bajrakitiyabha, was hospitaliSed in an unconscious state in December after collapsing due to a heart problem.