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Saranrom (สราญรมย์)

Thai. Name of a former palace in Rattanakosin, which in full is generally referred to as Phra Rachawang Saranrom, i.e. Saranrom Palace, and that is located to the east of Phra Borom Maha Rachawang, i.e. the Grand Palace. It was built towards the end of the reign of King Phra Chom Klao (Rama IV - fig.), whose statue is nowadays erected in front of the building (fig.). After the death of Uparacha Phra Pinklao in 1866, King Rama IV decided to pass on the throne to the Crown Prince Chulalongkorn, who later became King Rama V, and planned to retire to this palace to live in retirement as advisor on state affairs. However, King Mongkut (fig.) died in 1868 and his successor, King Rama V, gave the Saranrom Palace to his full brother, Prince Chaturonradsami (จาตุรนต์รัศมี), Krom Phra Chakraphadphong (จักรพรรดิพงษ์). In 1885, the Senabodi Krom Tha (เสนาบดีกรมท่า), i.e. the Minister of the Foreign Affairs Department (or Harbor Department), submitted a request for an office of his own as separate from his residence, which until then had doubled as his office. Hence, the King gave permission to use the Saranrom Palace and it became the first separate Office for Foreign Affairs. After the complete government reform of 1892, it became a full-fledged Ministry of Foreign Affairs both in fact and in name, while its judiciary functions and its administrative control of the seaboard provinces were transferred to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior, respectively. But the position of the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to bear the name of Senabodi until it in 1932 changed to the current title Ratthamontri (รัฐมนตรี), i.e. after the country changed from an Absolute Monarchy to a Constitutional Monarchy. See also POSTAGE STAMP and MAP.