The Thai Royal Palace has issued an update on the health condition of Princess Bajrakitiyabha, who is now in her fourth week in hospital.
The statement says that the 44-year-old Princess is still unconscious and is being treated for the consequences of a collapse due to a severe heart arrhythmia.
In the press release, the Royal Palace also clarified the origins of the condition; some had speculated that it was congenital, but the Royal Palace explained that instead, the irregularity in the heartbeat was a consequence of inflammation that followed a mycoplasma infection.
Mycoplasma is a type of bacteria that can infect different organs of the body, depending on the strain; the affected organs include the lungs, skin or urinary trait.
The statement also says: “Doctors continue to provide medicine and use equipment to support the functions of the heart, lung and kidney as well as using antibiotics while monitoring her condition closely.”
Princess Bajrakitiyabha collapsed while running with her dog in a park on Thursday, December 15th, while she was in the northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province, preparing her dogs for an Army competition.
Upon collapsing, she was immediately brought to the local hospital, before being flown via helicopter to a bigger and better-equipped hospital in the capital Bangkok, where she has been treated ever since and remains unconscious.
The Princess is the eldest child of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and one of only three of his offspring to hold a royal title, making her eligible for succession according to monarchy rules and the Thai Constitution.
However, the King has not formally designated an heir, and there haven’t been discussions about succession yet, meaning that, despite Princess Bajrakitiyabha being the eldest child, she would not be guaranteed to have the throne. However, there have long been rumours that the Princess is his chosen successor, and she has been prepared for the role throughout her life.
The Princess has a master’s degree and a doctorate in law from Cornell University and has served as a Thai Ambassador to many foreign countries and institutions, including Austria and the UN’s Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.