In a palace statement read out on all Thai TV networks, the king said: “Even though she has relinquished her royal titles in writing, she maintained her status and carried herself as a member of the Chakri dynasty.
“Involvement of a high-ranking member of the royal family in politics, in whatever way, is considered an act that defies the nation’s traditions, customs and culture, and therefore is considered extremely inappropriate.”
The statement cited a passage of the constitution that says the monarchy should maintain political neutrality.
Hours earlier, Princess Ubolratana defended her decision to run for office.
In an Instagram post, she reiterated that she had relinquished all her royal titles and now lived as a commoner.
She said she wanted to exercise her rights as an ordinary citizen by offering her candidacy for prime minister. She said she would work with all sincerity and determination for the prosperity of all Thais.
Who is Princess Ubolratana Mahidol?
Born in 1951, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi is the oldest child of Thailand’s beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He died in 2016.
She attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and after marrying an American in 1972 she gave up her royal title. After her divorce she returned to Thailand in 2001 and once again started participating in royal life.
The princess engages actively in social media and has also starred in several Thai movies.
She has three children, one of whom died in the 2004 Asian tsunami. The other two now also live in Thailand.
The princess has registered for the Thai Raksa Chart party, which is closely linked to Mr Thaksin.
Why is the election important?
It will be the first vote since current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in 2014, overthrowing the democratic government and ousting ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra, the younger sister of Mr Thaksin.
Both Mr Thaksin and his sister live in self-imposed exile but remain a powerful force in Thai politics, with many in the country remaining loyal to them.
In 2016, Thais voted to approve a new constitution created by the country’s military leaders, which was designed to perpetuate military influence and block Mr Thaksin’s allies from winning another election.
But the princess aligning herself with a party allied with Mr Thaksin threatens to upend those plans, the BBC’s Jonathan Head in Bangkok says.