Saturday, February 21, 2009

When the King of Rock and Roll met the King of Thailand

[Update October 13, 2016: The King died today. My post today includes a picture of him I took at the Royal Ploughing Ceremony in 1969 and a few other pictures and thoughts.]

The King of Thailand was 7 years old when Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935. Today in a restaurant in Hang Dong, a district of Chiang Mai, there was a picture on the wall of the King and Queen of Thailand meeting Elvis Presley in the Buddhist year 2503 during the filming of GI Blues. (It's currently 2552 so that was 49 years ago, or 1960.) Elvis was 25 and the King was 32.

That also means that today, when the King is 81, Elvis would be 74

This is the coffee shop/restaurant where the picture was hanging on the wall.

Google provided a bit more background. Eric, on Ajarnforum (teacherforum) wrote a couple of years ago:

HM King of Thailand meets the King of Rock & Roll
I had read that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit had met Elvis Presley at Paramount Studios, on the set of one of his movies, in June 1960. Apparently Duke Ellington was also present. HMK was 32 years old at the time and had just begun the 10th year of his reign.
After much scouring of the internet and eventually sending a guy $3 USD via PayPal I came up with this pic: [I couldn't open the link to the picture, but presumably it is the same one.)

Poking further I found this Youtube Thai television newscast of the event posted by Trevormeech. The newscast puts the date at May 21, 1960.


  1. I also found this Photo in other Thai Restaurant in Boston, MA USA. The Restaurant name is...
    Montien Thai Restaurant
    63 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116 USA
    Tel: 1(617)338-5600

  2. I found it on a wall in a hotel restuarant in Suttisarn in Bangkok. When I commented on it to the owner she said 'Yes, the King' without irony and I got the feeling she was referring to the Thai King, completely unaware of the status of the other 'King' in the photo. Its a great image of two great men and an excellent alternative to the other more traditional royalty photos (which are great too, I would hasten to add, living here as I do!)

    1. Simon, Thanks for your addition to this post. Yes, it's a fascinating photo.

  3. Hi everyone ... .my daughter was given a photo of Elvis Presely and king and Queen of Thailand .Does anyone have info on how could I go about finding out if its Original.? Any info would be much appreciated

  4. Just arrived at Prince Hotel Chiang Mai and this photo is in a locked up old room. Great photo

  5. Thanks Kazza for your update. I imagine there are a fair number of these around Thailand and the world.

  6. Does anyone know who the girl in the photo is?

  7. Hi, The girl in the photo is Juliet Prowse from the movie GI Blues :-)

  8. I found a very similar photo in the Thai Jasmine Restaurant in Groningen, Netherlands


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