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Thai Princess Confirms Divorce, Calls Ex-Husband “Insensitive″

October 11, 1996

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ The youngest daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej confirmed Friday that she quietly divorced her husband, an air force officer she called ``quick-tempered and insensitive.″

In a rare glimpse of problems inside the royal family, Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana, 41, said attempts at reconciliation had failed to save her troubled marriage to Squadron Leader Virayuth Didyasarin.

``We really can’t get along,″ the princess said in a taped television interview scheduled to air Friday night. ``He is quick-tempered and insensitive. If both sides hurt each other, there’s no point living together.″

The princess confirmed she had legally divorced Virayuth in February. The proceedings were unreported at the time and the princess disclosed no other details. The couple wed July 7, 1982.

Chulabhorn’s admission ended months of speculation. She said she retained custody of the couple’s two daughters, ages 14 and 12.

There was no comment from Virayuth.

Friday’s reports were the first about the couple’s problems in the Thai media, which treats the royal family with great deference, partly due to laws against harming the monarch’s dignity.

Chulabhorn is the youngest of the king’s four children. She enjoys a career as a singer in Thailand, donating the proceeds to charity.

The princess also holds advanced degrees in chemistry. In 1986, she was awarded the UNESCO Einstein Gold Medal for her efforts to promote science.

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