On 11th February 2010 HRH Prince Henrik was welcomed to Phuket by Boathouse General Manager Louis Bronner, a personal friend of Prince Henrik, and Mom Tri’s Villa Royale General Manager Adisak Pitakrojananont.
Mom Tri’s Villa Royale welcoming HRH Prince HenrikHRH Prince Henrik was in Phuket for a number of official visits during a trip to Asia.
HRH was the personal Guest of Mom Luang Tri Devakul (better known as Mom Tri) and stayed at his private property, Villa Terra Cotta, managed by Villa Royale. M. L. Tri Devakul is a descendant of His Majesty King Mongkut Rama IV.
During his stay the Prince kept quite busy with official matters. On 15th February HRH paid a visit to the Bangkok Hospital Phuket. Dr. Kongkiat Kespechara, Hospital Director and Dr. Sompoch Nipakanont, Assistant Hospital Director and recently appointed Honorary Consul of Sweden in Phuket, together with hospital staff extended a Royal Welcome to the visiting Prince.
HRH visited the Tsunami memorial and expressed his gratification at being able to visit the hospital personally. “In Denmark we all followed the news on television about the tsunami and the aftermath with so much concern. You have done great work in coping and helping with the disaster. Not only I, also the Royal Family and my Danish compatriots had the highest admiration for the unselfish actions of the Thai people. I’d like to say we are very grateful for what you have done. Thank you!”
On 16th February HRH Prince Henrik paid a visit to the Phuket Aquarium, started as a combined initiative of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik.
Prince Henrik is known for his love of nature and marine life and numerous “green” initiatives; he also presides over the Danish World Wild Life Fund dedicated to the protection of the environment. The Prince is known to eschew plastic bags. The information board displaying damage done by discarded plastic bags, mistaken by turtles and other marine life for food and often causing a slow death, was especially shocking to His Royal Highness.
“HM Queen Sirikit and I wanted to combine our efforts to assist the sustainability of the marine environment, a cause close to our hearts. We focused first on a turtle hatchery and release project as in those days the turtle population was already in decline. We thought the ideal place for such a project would be Phuket which I had been visiting since the late seventies.” said Prince Henrik.
To the delight of many Scandinavian tourists Prince Henrik could be seen dining at Mom Tri’s Kitchen and Mom Tri’s Boathouse.
On 17th February, HRH Prince Henrik and HE Danish Ambassador Sternberg were welcomed by Khun Thiraphong Chansiri, President at Thai Union Hatchery in the province of Phang Nga for a visit of this immense farm.
The same evening a grand BBQ party was organised at Villa Terra Cotta for HRH and His entourage, including HE the Danish Ambassador and Madame Sternberg, Dr Sompoch, the Honorary Consul of Denmark in Phuket Mr. Kenneth Karlsson and his wife and several other Guests.
On 18th February Mom Tri hosted a dinner at Mom Tri’s Villa Royale for HRH which included Madame Francoise Bardin de Monpezat the Prince’s sister and renowned author William Warren.
On 21st February the Boathouse hosted a farewell cocktail party in honour of His Royal Highness and invited the Danish and other Scandinavian Guests staying at Mom Tri’s Boathouse and Villa Royale to greet the Danish Royal.
No stranger to Phuket the Prince has a genuine affection for the island. Fortunately he was able to find time in his busy schedule to visit a sight new to him, Phuket’s revered Phraphutthamingmongkhol-akenagakhiri Buddha, “Happiness on Top of Nagakerd Mountain, also known as Big Buddha.
Teams of Mom Tri’s Boathouse and Mom Tri’s Villa Royale bade the Prince farewell early morning on 22nd February. His Royal Highness traveled onward to Indonesia to attend several official functions there before returning to Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen.