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Wiphawadi Rangsit (วิภาวดีรังสิต)

Thai. Name of a princess of the late Rattanakosin Period, who was born on 20 November 1920 as the eldest daughter of Prince Phitayalongkorn (fig.), and known by her maiden name Wiphawadi Ratchani (วิภาวดี รัชนี), until her marriage to Prince Piyarangsit Rangsit, the son of Prince Rangsit Prayoonsak (fig.), the Prince Regent of Siam from 1946 until his death in 1951. She inherited her fatherís gift for writing and was celebrated for her fiction writing, using the nom de plume Wo Na Pramuanmark (ว. ณ ประมวญมารค), i.e. W. (Wiphawadi) at (Wang) Pramuan, her childhood residence and the name given to the printer shop built in lieu of the former parental residence near along Khlong Bang Luang (คลองบางหลวง), near Charoen Phaat Bridge (สะพานเจริญพาศน์). A member of the Thai royal family, she was also renowned for her developmental work in rural Thailand. She was killed on 16 February 1977 by communist insurgents while on a routine visit to Surat Thani Province. While flying to her destination in an army helicopter, she heard a radio message about two Border Patrol policemen wounded by a landmine, and thus ordered the flight to detour in order to pick up the wounded men and rush them to hospital. However, flying at low altitude the helicopter was attacked and crippled, while the princess was seriously wounded and died an hour later. In recognition of her services to the country, the King elevated her to the higher royal rank and awarded her the highest level of the most Illustrious Order of the House of Chakri. February 16th is now known in Surat Thani as Wiphawadi Day and Wiphawadi Rangsit Highway, which connects Don Meuang Airport (fig.) with Bangkok, was named after her. The Wiphawadi Rangsit Foundation, founded by her husband Prince Piyarangsit Rangsit, ensures the continuity of her charitable work in the southern provinces. Her name is alternatively transcribed Vibhavadi Rangsit.