The ninth Monarch of Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej, passed away at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016. The King before his death became the longest-reigning monarch before his death. Adulyadej has reigned over the country for about 70 years after he succeeded his elder brother King Ananda Mahidol on June 09, 1946.
The late King is survived by his wife Queen Sirikit, who is 84 years old, a son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and three daughters, Princess Ubol Ratana, Princess Chulabhorn Walailak and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Bhumibol became the ninth monarch at the age of 18 of the Chakri Dynasty and was also known as King Rama IX. He started his tenure at a critical time when the country of Thailand was evolving as a constitutional monarchy.
The King emerged as the single unifying force of the nation and the brought a revival of the institution. The constitution says that the monarch was the lead of head of state and commander of the Thaiarmed forces but could not hold much political power. The fact was that King Bhumibol was one of the most powerful figures in Thailand as well as the main pillar of stability that was demonstrated by the King by returning peace to the country with the help of just a few words during the bloody political crisis during 1973 and 1992. The king’s words not just worked as profound influence but his actions inspired deep respect.
During his reign he was the most beloved ruler among the Thais and many of them regarded as a father figure. Bhumibol’s portrait was everywhere and was placed on the altar tables, walls, government buildings, schools, banks and homes. Whenever he appeared people bowed in respect and admiration. Many of the Thais even wept with joy when he appeared.
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