Suan Kularb Palace to open for fun-fair

Suan Kularb Palace, in the compound of the Dusit Palace, will open its doors to the public for the first time from today till Sunday - to host a fun-fair to raise money for charitable projects.

The Palace dates back to the reign of King Rama V and is the residence of HRH Princess Somsavali Kitiyakara.

The Palace will open from 10am to 12pm to welcome visitors who want to contribute to good causes. The fund-raising fair is organised by the Friends in Need (of "Pa") Volunteers Foundation (the Princess Pa Foundation) and the Thai Red Cross Society.

The project is the brainchild of HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha and has received support from her mother, Princess Somsavali, who is the honorary and lifetime president of the Foundation.

The event is held to mark the auspicious occasion of the 11th anniversary of the Foundation, which was set up to help victims of natural disasters. Initially, the foundation began as the Voluntary Project of Princess Pa, the Thai Red Cross Society, after severe flooding in Bangkok in 1995.

Dr Pichit Suwonprakorn, vice president of the Princess Pa Foundation, announced the agreement to open Suan Kularb Palace was initiated by HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha, the president of the Foundation.

The Princess wished to advocate the philosophy of the relief missions, which is to encourage those who suffer less to help those who suffer more, and for the stronger to help the weaker, said Pichit.

The Foundation aims to highlight flood relief operations, and the aim of the princess is to provide both knowledge and entertainment, he added.

Dr Pichit said Princess Bajrakitiyabha handpicked the fair's booths by herself, including those from the Department of Corrections, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection's Ban Kanjanapisek and Ban Fah Sai.

The Foundation expects the event to raise enough money to support its projects this year. It spent around Bt70 million last year to help people affected by flooding.

One of the highlights of the fair will be 10 hand-woven fabric bags designed by Princess Bajarakitiyabha that will be put up for auction.

The princess herself will launch her own special recipe book at a price of Bt45 during the fair. The book will go on sale after the event at Bt55.

ML Nueng Nulrat, an enthusiastic chef, will introduce special recipes for preserved food to help in situations of flood relief.

Royal recipes will also be unveiled at the fair. Culinary creations by Princess Somsavali include home-made liver pate and whole-wheat bread. Her cooking skills are already well known to the public.

The Suan Kularb Palace is situated in the compound of Dusit Palace at the corner of Ratchasima and Si Ayutthaya roads. It was erected in the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) as the residence of Prince Asdang Dejavudi, his 62nd son, on the occasion of the prince's return from studying in Europe.
King Rama V used his private funds from the Privy Purse to build the palace in European-style surrounded by spacious gardens. The Suan Kularb Palace remained as the residence of the prince, who later ranked as Prince of Nakhorn, until he passed away in 1924.

The Nation