This letter is written in reference to your article “How I Became a Royal White Elephant, Third Class” by Richard Eberhart in the February/March issue. First, let me introduce myself, Mom [Princess] Rajawong Pairoh Kridakara. I am Steeg’s eldest sister; another sister is Mom Rajawong Pleonchitra Kridakara. We made Mr. Eberhart’s acquaintance when he became Prince Chirasakdi’s and Steeg’s tutor in 1931. In writing this letter to you, my sister and brother asked me to represent them as well.
A few weeks ago my cousin Princess Patara Svasti kindly passed on to me a copy of the above-mentioned article. At first I found it amusing, but gradually 1 became somewhat resentful, as quite a few of the circumstances and statements were inaccurate and exaggerated. When I came to the paragraph concerning my father, Minister Prince Amoradat Kridakara, I was shocked and very upset. It read: “Steeg’s father betrayed King Prajadhipok and left Siam, taking his son with him. Despite his high rank as prime minister, he gave up his birthright and defected to the Japanese, who took good care of him. He died of natural causes about twenty years later. 1 have never been able to find out what happened to Steeg. He might still be alive.”
This whole paragraph is completely untrue. My father never betrayed H.M. The King. My father never defected to the Japanese. He remained The King’s faithful servant to the end of his days, and he retained his princely rank and honor to the day he died.
Here I must give a brief outline of my father’s life in his later years. Soon after The King and the Royal Party returned to Thailand after The King’s successful eye operation, my father was appointed to serve Thailand as the minister to France. He remained at this post for two years. Steeg was left in the United States, studying at Exeter Academy. For reasons of economy he later continued his studies in Tokyo, Japan. In 1932–33 there was a change of government from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, and all officials of princely ranks had to leave the government service. My father returned home and went into retirement. He lived out his life peacefully and died in Thailand at the age of sixty-five. Steeg, you may be interested to know, is still very much alive and well. He now owns and runs one of Thailand’s famous fishing resorts and seaside condominiums.