King Mongkut, was the fourth monarch of Siam (Thailand) under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1851–1868. He was one of the most revered monarchs of the country.
Outside of Thailand, he is best known as the King in the 1951 play and 1956 film The King and I, based on the 1946 film Anna and the King of Siam – in turn based on the 1944 novel about Anna Leonowens' years at his court, from 1862 to 1867.
During his reign, the pressure of Western expansionism was felt for the first time in Siam. Mongkut embraced Western innovations and initiated the modernization of Siam, both in technology and culture—earning him the nickname "The Father of Science and Technology" in Siam.
Mongkut was also known for his appointing his brother, Prince Chutamani, as Second King, crowned in 1851 as King Pinklao. Mongkut himself assured the country that Pinklao should be respected with equal honor to himself (as King Naresuan had done with his brother Ekathotsarot in 1583.) Mongkut's reign was also the time when the power of the House of Bunnag reached its zenith and became the most powerful noble family of Siam. ...more