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Once upon a time…

... an Argentine princess. Long before Maxima, Chelita Howard fell in love with a prince and married him. We tell
Stories of ordinary people
Mucho antes de Máxima, Chelita Howard enamoró a un príncipe y se casó con él.
| 22 December, 2019 |

Reality surpasses fiction. Always. If not, ask Chelita, a young woman from San Isidro(Buenos Aires) who once met a prince and got married. That’s right: Máxima Zorreguieta was not the first Argentine to become a princess (and, in her case, later a queen).

As the 40s was coming to an end, Prince Birabongse Bhanutej Bhanubandh, better known as Bira, came to Argentina to participate in a car race, the Grand Prix Eva Perón, who ran in Palermo. He was the heir to the Kingdom of Siam, made up of three Southeast Asian countries: Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Celia “Chelita” Howard worked at the time at the Automobile Club Argentino. His life went on like that of any girl in Buenos Aires at that time. Until one day a mutual friend showed Prince Bira a picture of her: the man instantly fell in love and did not rest until he conquered her. He asked his brother for his hand and eventually crossed the ocean together by boat.

On December 18, 1951, they were married at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Siam in Paris. Chelita lived several years among luxuries, cars and trips. They had a son, Biradej. But one day love ended. Prince Bira was unfaithful to him and Chelita could not stand it: he abandoned him, left Bangkok and went with his son to Buenos Aires. He tried to get her back, but it was in vain. She had a strong temper and very clear ideas.

Chelita ceased to be a princess, but that magic story still shines his gaze. Today, at the age of 96, it is still a woman that any prince could fall in love with.

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