The estranged heir to Thailand’s royal family could be barred from ascending the throne after marrying an American woman.
According The daily beast, Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, 42, is married to US citizen Elisa Garafano and the couple has two children.
Vivacharawongse is the estranged son of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn and was exiled along with his three brothers to live abroad after the then crown prince announced his mother’s divorce.
Marriage to a foreign national is an automatic obstacle to ascending the throne in Thailand, and the marriage causes a potential succession crisis for the family.
Vivacharawongse has reportedly told close friends that she is parting ways with Garafano, a White Plains official, which would open the door for her to take the throne.
Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, 42, is married to US citizen Elise Garafano and the couple has two children.
Vivacharawongse has reportedly told close friends that she is separating from Garafano (pictured).
Marriage to a foreign national is an automatic obstacle to ascending the throne in Thailand, and the marriage causes a potential succession crisis for the family. Vivacharawongse seen here with Mark Wahlberg
Raised in the United States, Vacharaesorn works as a lawyer in New York and speaks English and French.
Garafano filed for divorce, which is currently sealed, and sources told the outlet that he suspended the process and told allies that they are not divorced.
Apparently, he told close sources that she wants to be recognized along with her children.
A source told the Daily Beast: ‘Vach is still married to Elisa and they still live together, but he very much wants to keep that fact, and that of his children, a secret because of the impact it would have on his ambition to win the throne.’
Another told the outlet: “Vach and Elisa were openly married for years, but since he started vying for the throne, he started trying to keep it hidden and has told people that he is now divorced, even in comments public on social networks.
Vivacharawongse said he was no longer living at his home in a New York City suburb and knew he had a separate apartment when the outlet reached out.
Public records indicate that he still lives with his wife and children, and that his stay at the property dates back nine years.
In a statement, Vach said: “I am not conceding anything.” I have no further comment on the complexities of my private life and family situation.
‘Not everyone is lucky enough to have an ideal family situation. I don’t live with Elisa. I have another rented residence. We have a cordial relationship and I am in management quite frequently.’
Vivacharawongse (pictured with Mark Wahlberg) has reportedly told close friends that she is separating from Garafano, but the divorce proceedings have reportedly been put on hold.
Vivacharawongse (pictured with actress Gwyneth Paltrow) said she was no longer living at her home in a New York City suburb and knew she had a separate apartment.
After his exile with his brothers, Vivacharawongse’s half-sister from the king’s next marriage, Princess Bajrakitiyabha, was installed as heir apparent.
In December 2022, Bajrakitiyabha collapsed due to cardiac arrhythmia, which the royal palace later said was due to mycoplasma infection.
Bajrakitiyabha has been unconscious and on life support since then and is believed to be in an irreversible coma.
After being away from his home country for three decades, Vivacharawongse made an appearance in Thailand and was soon being talked about as the new heir apparent.
Vivacharawongse’s marriage has not been reported in coverage of him in the Thai media, as it is illegal to criticize the monarchy in the country.
According to the Daily Beast, Vivacharawongse is also being pursued for $94,000 in unpaid credit charges from American Express.
The outlet also added that he is being sued for $1.88 million in a dispute with a Canadian law firm.
If he ascended to the throne of Thailand, he would also keep his father’s staggering $40 billion fortune.
On his social media pages, Vivacharawongse has shared images of himself alongside celebrities such as Mark Wahlberg, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rob Lowe.
It would not be the first time that a member of the Thai royal family has been stripped of their titles after marrying an American.
The current king’s older sister, Ubolratana, was stripped of her titles by her father, King Bhumibol, in 1972 after marrying an American she met while studying at MIT.