Thai King Vajiralongkorn returns to Germany with 250 people and 30 poodles

King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand returned to Germany with an entourage of 250 people and 30 poodles after spending more than a year away from his adopted home in the Bavarian alps, according to German media reports.

According to the Bild newspaper the 69-year-old monarch was pictured wearing a dark brown and orange Adidas track suit on the way to the public swimming pool of the Hilton Airport hotel in Munich. The newspaper said the king had arrived in Munich on Monday and had booked the entire fourth floor of the airport hotel for 11 days.

Last year during anti-government protests in Thailand demonstrators had demanded an investigation on whether the King exercised his powers from Germany as they marched to the German embassy in Bangkok.

The UN Human Rights Council had recommended the Thailand government to amend the law which had declared criticism against the monarchy a criminal offence. Several students who had carried out protests last year have been charged under the law.

UN member nations including Germany, Canada, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland had urged the country to review the law even as the US said it was “concerned by the expanded use” of the lese majeste law.

There were large scale protests last year against former army chief Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s government calling for political reforms. The demonstrators demanded curbs on the power of the monarchy even as several protesting leaders were arrested.

The protests which took place amid the coronavirus pandemic drew large crowds as riot police clashed with demonstrators. PM Prayut however refused to quit even as protesters criticised the role of the monarch in the country.