The Royal Visit of King Chulalongkorn to Spain during the Regency of Queen María Cristina De Habsburgo-Lorena | A Talk by Piémsak Hongjamrassilp
About this lecture
Upon his arrival at the railway station of Irun in Northern Spain on 16 October 1897, King Chulalongkorn embarked on a four-day visit aimed at achieving recognition from this Iberian nation through diplomatic channels and to promote the image of Siam as a civilized and modern state. At the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Siamese monarch received a warm welcome from Queen Regent María Cristina De Habsburgo-Lorena (r. 1885-1902), who would prove a formidable ally in Siam’s efforts to protect its sovereignty from French claims over Siamese territories in the late 19th century. During his short but successful stay, King Chulalongkorn visited a number of cultural landmarks in Madrid, including El Retiro Park (Parque del Buen Retiro), the Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) and the Royal Tapestry Factory (Real Fábrica de Tapices). The king’s vision on Hispanic culture was broadened when he visited the Andalusian capital of Seville before his departure on 19 October. This historic state visit contributed to the representation of Siam in the Spanish press, when Spain was close to losing her last remaining colonial possessions (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines) in 1898. This talk aims to contextualise King Chulalongkorn’s visit in the midst of political instability during the regency of Queen María Cristina and the political role of images that shape the identity of Siam as a Southeast Asian nation.
About the speaker
After a BA degree in Hispanic Philology at Chulalongkorn University, Dr Piémsak Hongjamrassilp enrolled at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid to pursue an MA on ‘The Spanish Monarchy 16th-18th centuries’ and then a PhD on relations between Siam and the Philippines for the same period. Ajarn Piémsak lectures in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Thammasat University and is a specialist in the history of Spain of the 16th-18th centuries, related to the Philippines and Hispano-Siamese relations.
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