It was during the reign of King Prajadipok as King Rama VII that Thailand changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. This museum presents the life and tumultuous times of The Kings reign. The building, constructed in 1906, was initially an imported clothing store called John Simpson Store designed in the Neo-classical style by Charles Beguelin, a French-Swiss architect.
It later became a hardware store and then headquarters of the Public Works Department. The museum has nine permanent exhibition halls covering various subjects in a sequence. The first hall introduces you to the line of succession under the Chakri Dynasty from King Rama I up to H.M. King Rama IX, the current King. King Prajadipoks life before his accession to the throne in the second hall, informs about his youth, education, ordination, marriage and government service.
His coronation is shown in photographs and royal activities in areas of national development and foreign relations are shown in the next exhibits. The preparations for and the celebrations marking the 1932 150th anniversary of the founding of the Chakri Dynasty are next. 1932 was the year of the turning point in Thailands political history when under pressure from a political party,the King consented to the change from an absolute monarchy to a democratic constitutional monarchy.
The Conferment of The Constitution exhibit hall informs you about the Kings prior intent to bestow upon the nation a constitution. King Prajadipoks personal effects are displayed including items on films, music, sports and writings, revealing his personal tastes. The final exhibition shows his life after abdication and his final years in England.