Prince Bira was the son of Prince Bhanurangsri Sawangvongse, a son of King Mongkut and younger brother of King Chulalongkorn , and of Mom Lek Bhanubhandhu na Ayudhya. Its official title in Thai was พระ วร วงศ์ เธอ พระองค์เจ้า พีร พงศ์ ภาณุ เดช (pronounced: [ pʰrá wora-woŋ-tʰə pʰrá ʡong-ʤâo pʰina-pʰoŋ pʰaː-nú-dèt ]), the short form was พระองค์ พี ระ - "Phra- ong Phira ", so" Prince Bira ". He was raised in Thailand until he was 13 years old. In 1927 he came to Great Britain for further training, where he first studied at Eton College and later at Cambridge University .
In 1935 he started racing in the team of his cousin Prince Chula Chakrabongse. With ERA cars, he contested numerous races in the Voiturette class, the predecessor series of Formula 2 . Among other things, he won the Voiturette Grand Prix of Monaco in 1936. After the Second World War , he competed in several Grand Prix races with cars from OSCA , Simca-Gordini and Connaught . He achieved his greatest success in a private Maserati , which was painted in a striking blue and yellow. His best results in Formula 1 races, which were part of the world championship, were fourth places at the Swiss Grand Prix in 1950 and the French Grand Prix in 1954 . In 1955, Prince Bira resigned from racing.
He found a new sporting field of activity in sailing. He represented his home country four times at the Olympic Games. In 1956 he was twelfth, four years later nineteenth in the Star class . In 1964 his wife Arunee also belonged to the crew of the dragon , who finished 22nd and penultimate. In 1972, Prince Bira finally sailed in the Star again. The final result was 21st place.