Coronavirus: Thai king self-isolates in Alpine hotel with harem of 20 women amid pandemic

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Kate Ng
Thailand’s controversial king has been self-isolating in a luxury hotel in the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen with his entourage.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X, is said to have booked out the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl after the four-star hotel received “special permission” from the district council to accommodate his party.

The 67-year-old king’s entourage included a “harem” of 20 concubines and numerous servants, reported German tabloid Bild. It is unclear if his four wives are living in the hotel with the rest of the group.

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Guesthouses and hotels in the region were ordered to close due to the coronavirus crisis, but a spokesperson for the local district council said the Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl was an exception because “the guests are a single, homogenous group of people with no fluctuation”.

However, 119 members of the entourage had been reportedly sent back to Thailand on suspicions they contracted the highly contagious respiratory disease.

News of Vajiralongkorn’s apparent self-isolation in a luxury location was met with anger by tens of thousands of Thai people, who risked breaking the country’s lèse-majesté laws by criticising him online.

Under the laws, anyone who insults or criticises the monarchy could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.

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