A couple of days ago PPT commented on the making of royal propaganda and the king interfering in events and institutions that are not his preserve. In it, we observed how the palace propaganda machine in the previous reign regularly claimed a royal interest in events that elicited public sympathy. We don’t doubt the interest but the point was about how that interest became grist to the royal propaganda mill.
The ongoing efforts by rescuers to bring the soccer team out of the cave has continued to provide that propaganda opportunity.
In another message from the king’s palace he issued a statement “of appreciation, commendation and encouragement to the Thai and foreign teams who have located 12 young footballers and their coach…”.
The message allows the king to rehearse a message that was his father’s mantra: “there was unity of effort exerted by all in a disciplined manner, supported by great knowledge, dedication and sacrifice…”.
With the death of a former Navy seal, while tragic, provided another opportunity.
The king intervened, giving “instructions that Petty Officer 1st Class Saman be given dignified funeral rites.” The king “also gave instructions to that the dead diver’s children be well taken care of.”
In another effort at bolstering the “caring-ness” of the palace, Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti Has “handwritten card … [that] urged 12 young footballers and their coach trapped inside a northern cave to stay strong, and thanked everyone involved in the attempt to rescue them.” He wrote it in German.
The 13 year-old son of the king is generally considered most likely to become crown prince in a few years. He is at school in Germany.
Such efforts will occur at every available opportunity, as they did in the past reign.