Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya
This screen grab from Thai TV Pool video shows a ceremony in which Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn "legally married" Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya in Bangkok, May 1, 2019. Thai TV Pool/AFP/Getty Images

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Thailand's Royal Gazette said King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun married his long-time consort and the commander of the royal security department, Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, bestowing upon her the title of the country’s new queen, just days before his coronation.

The announcement stated that King Vajiralongkorn had “performed a royal wedding ceremony with General Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya in accordance to law and royal traditions in a full and righteous manner” and hence “she will hold royal title and status as part of the royal family.” Queen Suthida became the fourth wife of King Vajiralongkorn.

Photos from the marriage registration ceremony, held at the Dusit Palace in Bangkok on Wednesday showed the king donning a white uniform while the queen wore a traditional silk dress.

In one of the pictures, the queen was seen lying at her husband's feet – as part of the Thai tradition that dictates that the reigning kings must sit higher than his subjects during official ceremonies and speeches and that his feet should be elevated above everyone else's heads. After she was bestowed the title of the queen, she was seen taking a seat on the throne beside her husband.

The following are some facts about the new queen of Thailand:

1. Only one other commoner had ever been given the title of the queen consort of Thailand before Queen Suthida - Her Majesty Queen Indrasaksajee, Queen Consort of King Rama VI.

2. Queen Suthida worked as a flight attendant for Thai Airways in the past.

3. In August 2014, she was appointed the commander of the-then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn's household guard. She was then appointed to the post of Commander of the Special Operations Unit of the King’s Guard and in December 2016, promoted to the post of general, local news media, the Nation, reported.

4. After King Vajiralongkorn divorced his third wife, Srirasmi Suwadee, there were rumors of him being romantically involved with Queen Suthida, although the royal palace never made their relationship official, according to the Strait Times.

5. She was named a Dame Grand Cross (First Class) of The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao in October 2017 - the first female officer to receive this honor since 2004.

6. Queen Suthida, nicknamed “Nui,” was seen participating in the elaborate funeral ceremony for the widely revered former king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2017, Asia Times reported.

7. After her accession, Queen Suthida will be protected by Thailand’s strict lese majeste laws, which punishes anyone who criticizes the king, queen, heir and regent, by up to 15 years in prison. As a result, all media outlets are required to self-censor themselves in the country.