is an imposing ruler. Having been born to his royal position and educated only in preparation for the throne, his range of experience is very limited. He has a commanding presence, speaks forcefully, stands solidly on both feet, can be extremely gruff in expressing himself, while also having a keen sense of humor.
Anna Leonowens is an English schoolteacher who is intelligent, poised, strong-wiled and cultured. Her husband died six years ago leaving her with a young son. A well-educated and patient teacher, she expresses her opinions in a polite but firm manner.
Ying is the narrator of the story. Ying as a child – Princess Ying Yaowalak – is another character in the story. She is a daughter of the King and was one of Anna's students thirty years earlier. As she narrates the story, she is looking back on her childhood.