The Thai palace says the princess is on life support in the first update since confirming her collapse

The Thai king’s eldest daughter is in stable condition “to some degree,” the royal palace said in a statement just days after the 44-year-old princess lost consciousness.

Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendira Debyavati, potential heir to the Thai throne, collapsed on Wednesday of a heart problem in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima.

She is the eldest of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s three sons to bear a formal title.

The princess had fallen ill while preparing her dogs for a competition in the province and was shortly thereafter flown by helicopter to Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn Hospital, with doctors using drugs and equipment to support her lung, heart and kidney functions.

The princess, however, showed no signs of a heart abnormality after a coronary angiography as doctors continued to closely monitor her condition, said the first palace statement confirming her hospitalization.

His “condition is stable to a certain level” and his heartbeat was controlled by medicine, but his heart contraction was still weak, the palace said. “Doctors have administered medicines and the heart, lungs and kidneys are being supported by the machine,” he added.

On Friday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha and many senior officials, along with politicians and religious leaders visited Chulalongkorn hospital to wish her a speedy recovery. They also laid orange blossom, a color associated with the princess, and signed a greeting book.

Thailand’s Supreme Buddhist Patriarch Somdet Phra Ariyavangsagatayana has asked all temples at home and abroad to conduct special daily chanting sessions for his welfare, an official announcement from the National Bureau of Buddhism said.

The king, who ascended the throne in 2016, has yet to designate an heir. There has been no official discussion of the prospect of the princess succeeding him.

While a 1924 palace succession law stipulates that the heir to the throne should be male, a 1974 constitutional amendment allowed a daughter of the royal line to take the throne if a successor was not named.

Born on 7 December 1978 as the daughter of the King’s first wife Princess Soamsawali, Princess Bajrakitiyabha is a senior lawyer with a master’s and doctorate from Cornell University.

She has also served as Thailand’s Ambassador to Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia and in roles with the Attorney General’s Office, Royal Security Command and as Thailand’s Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Additional reporting by agencies

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