- Prince Abhakara's Experiences with Britain's Royal Navy: Education, Geopolitical Rivalries and the Role of a Cretan Adventure in Apotheosis
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 34, Number 1, March 2019
- pp. 1-47
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Many Thai people today revere Prince Abhakara—a son of King Chulalongkorn and a half-brother of King Vajiravudh—for modernizing the Royal Thai Navy and for his reported feats as a healer and practitioner of saiwet or occultism. They celebrate his remarkable life story, including his time studying naval sciences while a midshipman in Britain's Royal Navy in the 1890s. One outstanding episode from this phase of his life describes his exposure to warfare on the island of Crete in 1898. An apocryphal tale of his survival among war dead now stands in stories about him as the starting point of his two main incarnations, as warrior and as mystic. Similarly, the initial appearance of this fantastic episode in 1974 marked a pivotal time for the Royal Thai Navy.