Biography of His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla
His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla was born on January 1, 1892, a royal son of Their Majesties King Rama V and Queen Savang Vadhana of Siam. He received his education in England and Germany and earned a commission as a lieutenant in the Imperial German Navy in 1911. In that same year, His Majesty King Rama VI also commissioned him as a lieutenant in the Royal Thai Navy. Prince Mahidol completed his naval studies and returned to Thailand at the outbreak of World War I.
With the King’s permission, Prince Mahidol resigned from the Thai Navy in 1917 and enrolled at Harvard University in the United States.
On September 10, 1920, Prince Mahidol married Her Royal Highness Princess Mother. They had three children: Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, the eldest daughter, His Majesty King Ananda Mahidol (King Rama VIII), the first son, and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX), the youngest son.
Prince Mahidol obtained his Certificate of Public Health in 1921 and a Doctorate in Medicine (cum laude) in 1928.
Prince Mahidol returned from Harvard to teach preventive and social medicine to final-year students at Siriraj Medical School. As a celestial prince, his status prevented Prince Mahidol from serving as an intern at the Siriraj Hospital. He decided to leave his beloved Siriraj to pursue his wish of personally helping the sick and the bereaved as a resident doctor at McCormick Hospital, an American missionary hospital in Chiang Mai.
After three months at McCormick Hospital, Prince Mahidol took temporary leave to travel to Bangkok and attend the funeral of a senior member of the Royal Family. He never returned to Chiang Mai as he suffered from a fatal kidney disease and others and passed away on September 24, 1929. The nation mourned a great man’s death at the age of just 37 years, 8 months and 23 days.