Anna Leonowens
Probably the most famous -- or infamous -- foreigner in Thai history, her life story is full of intrigue.
In 1857, Anna was in Singapore -- a penniless young widow with two small children. The true story of how she got there and who her husband was is still unclear as it appears many details of her life have been distorted.
What is known is that in 1862, King Mongkut was looking for a new English teacher to teach his wives and children instead of the Christian missionaries whose preaching was boring the King's family. So he employed Mrs. Leonowens.
Anna worked at the royal court teaching the King's family for five years. After King Mongkut's death, she was not re-employed by the new King Chulalongkorn and so returned to England and began a new career in writing her books, The English Governess at the Siamese Court and The Romance of the Harem were later filmed as The King and I. Her accounts of life at the royal court have been questioned by many historians but they continue to be a very popular story.
-- From Nation Junior