Queen Sri Suriyothai 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 "sun".
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 A.D., 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 lead 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 outside Ayutthaya at Wat Suanluang Sopsawan. There is also a memorial park to her at the location, featuring a large statue of the queen riding a war elephant.