Bira’s cousin and guardian Prince Chula, gave Ceril and Bira a cheque to furnish their new home, however he was to spend a sizeable portion on a new car, a blue Rolls Royce from Jack Barclay’s showroom. Bira whenever he had money could never resist spending it all at once. It was also through the generosity of Chula that Ceril was to aquire her jewellery gifted from Chula to Bira for Ceril. Chula whose mother was a Russian émigré had been gifted fabulous jewels from her mother in law, Queen Saowabha. On discovering that Chula’s father had fallen in love with one of his nieces, and refusing to give her up Chula’s mother went to live in Shanghai, before her departure she gave back all her jewels to Queen Saowabha where they were kept until Chula came of age. When Chula married Cerils best friend Lisba, on 30th September 1938, he gave the jewels to his new wife and Ceril, presenting the black opal and diamond set , saying only she could wear them as he knew no-one else born in October.
During the war years Bira and Ceril lived at “Rock”, in Cornwall, a temporary measure, which lasted for six years. When Japan declared war on Britain and the United states, Thailand brokered an alliance with the Japanese which safeguarded their independence and removed the threat of great loss of life that conflict with Japan would have created. On 25th January 1942 Thailand declared war on Britain and Bira and Ceril became enemy aliens, although soon after they became part of the Free Thai movement. During the war years Bira would make wooden toys which he sent to Hamleys and joined the Signals Section, later joining the Air Training Corps while Chula worked for the home guard, while Ceril and Lisba worked for the Red Cross. During their time at “Rock”, they entertained The 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, Princess Marina, Anthony Blunt whom Chula had met at Cambridge and Guy Burgess who Bira had known at Eton as well as Noel Coward who visited frequently while he stayed nearby. After the war Bira and Ceril and Chula and Lisba all moved into a new house in Cornwall “Tredethy”
After the war Bira returned to racing with several teams, competed as an Olympic sailor at the Melbourne, Rome, Tokyo and Munich Olympics. In January of 1955 he won the New Zealand Grand Prix at Ardmore, retiring at the end of the season. He died at Barons Court tube station in 1985 at the age of 71.
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