Day in History – January 18: King Naresuan of Siam defeats Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in a personal battle

Naresuan the Great

Naresuan the Great

On 18 January 1591, King Naresuan the Great killed Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in a single elephant combat, marking the end of Burmese invasion. The battle is one of the epic moments in Thai military history and the day is now commemorated as Royal Thai Armed Forces Day.

Naresuan was born as Prince Naret on 25 April 1555, the son of King Maha Thammarachathirat and Queen Wisutkasat (herself daughter of a prominent noble, Maha Chakkrapat and Queen Sri Suriyothai). Growing up, the Prince was very close to his younger brother and elder sister. The three royal children had very different personalities, however; Naret was nicknamed The Black Prince for his strict character and devotion to discipline, Ekathotsarot (the younger brother) was known as The White Prince for his kind and considerate character, while Suphankanlaya (their elder sister) is remembered as the Golden Princess for her fair character and adherence to chivalric honour. The warm relationship between the three of them would be maintained for the rest of their lives; Naret and Ekathotsarot especially were not only brothers but friends and allies. (more…)

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