Royal Elephants

Elephants have long been symbolic of the friendship between Thailand and Denmark.

6 September 2022

Photo: Hasse Ferrold

Just recently, on 6 September, the Copenhagen Zoo and the Embassy of Thailand held an event commemorating the 60th anniversary of the arrival of Thai elephants to DK, which were a gift from the Thai royal family to the Danish one.

Marking the occasion was the donation by Asia House of an elephant sculpture decorated by HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. Inspired by the prestigious Danish Order of the Elephant, the royally painted elephant is to be displayed at the Copenhagen Zoo, of which Prince Henrik was the patron. Coming full circle, the East Asiatic Company, having enjoyed a longstanding friendship with the Thai royal family and in which Asia House has its roots, was initially responsible for transporting the live elephants from Thailand to Denmark in 1962.

Who could have guessed that, yet another historic Thai elephant story recently came full circle, this time in the north of Denmark. On 4 July 1907, the King of Siam, known as Rama V, visited Skagen, where he planted a flag with an elephant motif on Grenen, the most northern point in Denmark. A few weeks ago, 115 years later, the Thai Ambassador to Denmark, H. E. Sirilak Niyom, went to check on it. She found the white elephant flag in good hands at the Coastal Museum in Skagen and it will feature in an exhibition starting in 2023.

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