Thai king locks self in isolation with 20 women

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.

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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.

But a Thai hashtag which translated to “Why do we need a king?” appeared 1.2 million times on Twitter within 24 hours after an activist claimed Vijaralongkorn was travelling on holiday in Germany while the outbreak continued to spread across Thailand.

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The Thai Ministry of Public Health announced on Saturday 109 new cases in the country, bringing the total number of infections to 1,245.

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