Yingluck heads to London to meet the QueenBy Bangkok Pundit Nov 14, 2012 10:30AM UTC
The Bangkok Post:
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will have an audience with Queen Elizabeth II in London, said Pasan Teparak, Thai ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Ms Yingluck will visit the United Kingdom on Tuesday and Wednesday following British Prime Minister David Cameron’s invitation, the ambassador said.
During her visit, she will be granted an audience with Queen Elizabeth.
Thailand and Britain are celebrating 400 years of relations this year, and the embassy in London is among the oldest Thai missions worldwide.
Premier Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, made two official visits to the UK in 2002 and 2005 but was not granted an audience with Queen Elizabeth.
Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also visited the UK during his two-year term.
However, the Eton-educated Mr Abhisit also did not receive a royal audience.
The timing of Ms Yingluck’s meeting with the Queen is particularly significant because later this month her ruling Pheu Thai party faces a censure debate in the Thai parliament.
Yingluck Shinawatra will on Tuesday become the first Thai leader in nearly two decades to meet Britain’s monarch, in an audience at Buckingham Palace seen as an endorsement of the neophyte prime minister and a country still grappling with its recent history of political violence and military coups.
The 45-year-old leader will also meet her British counterpart, David Cameron, address UK business leaders on trade and investment, and sign an agreement to establish a bilateral consultative mechanism between the two countries.
But it is the audience with Queen Elizabeth II that is the crucial meeting for Ms Yingluck. The British monarch was unavailable to meet Ms Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, on the former prime minister’s two official visits to the UK in 2002 and 2005, and also did not meet Abhisit Vejjajiva, formerly prime minister and now leader of the opposition Democrats, on his visit to London
BP: Just to celebrate 400 years of relations or something more?
btw, Reuters has the picture of the meeting here.