Princess Srinagarindra was the mother two Thai monarchs – King Ananda Mahidol, Rama VIII, and King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX. Since the late 1960s, Princess Srinagarindra worked to improve the living conditions of rural Thais, particularly the ethnic minorities in remote mountainous areas that were only accessible by helicopter. On those visits, she learnt about their hardship, their lack of opportunity in life and the illnesses that plagued them. She would always be accompanied by a medical team to take care of any sick or injured she came across. She would also bring the villagers clothes, food, other essentials, and even toys for the children. It was this very image of the Princess Mother descending from the skies that gave rise to the name “Mae Fah Luang” (meaning Royal Mother from the Sky) and became the affectionate title by which the local people addressed her.

Throughout her life, Princess Srinagarindra continued to work to improve the well-being of the poor and marginalized in Thailand. She passed away in 1995, at the age of 95.

In 2000, the centenary year of her birth, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) honoured Princess Srinagarindra as a “great personality in public service in the fields of education, applied science, and human, social, and environmental development”.

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