- "Suriyothai" redirects here. For the movie, see The Legend of Suriyothai.
Queen Suriyothai (also known as Somdet Phra Suriyothai, Template:Lang-th) was a legendary queen during the 16th century Ayutthaya period of Siam (now Thailand). She is famous for having given her life in defense of her king. The meaning of her name in Thai is "sunrise". (Suriya + Uthai, Suriya = SUN;Sanskrit: सूर्य surya, Uthai = RISING; Sanskrit: उदय udaya)
Suriyothai was queen during the early part of the reign of King Maha Chakapat (2091 to 2106 Buddhist Era, with another reign from 2111 to 2112 B.E.). In 1548 AD, barely six months into King Maha Chakapat's reign, the King of Burma invaded Siam with the intent of sacking the main capital, Ayutthaya.
As was the custom at the time, King Maha Chakapat led his troops in the defense of the city from atop his war elephant. Even though women were not permitted to take part in battle, Queen Suriyothai was so concerned for her husband that she disguised herself as a man and rode into battle on her own elephant.
During the battle with Burmese troops, King Maha Chakapat's elephant collapsed from wounds and he was in danger of being killed. Queen Suriyothai rode her elephant to protect her husband and was killed by a scythe.
A memorial chedi to Queen Suriyothai, Phra Chedi Sisuriyothai, was built by King Maha Chakapat in her honor. The chedi is located at Wat Suanluang Sopsawan at the banks of the Chao Phraya, southwest of the Wang Luang (Royal Palace). There is also a memorial park to her outside of Ayutthaya, featuring a large statue of the queen riding a war elephant.