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Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has been proclaimed the country’s new king, succeeding his much-revered late father King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The prince accepted the throne in a TV broadcast following an invitation from parliament, formalizing his accession.

King Bhumibol, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, died on October 13.

The late king was widely seen as a pillar of stability during seven decades of political turmoil in Thailand.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn had been expected to become the next king the day after his father’s death, but PM Prayuth Chan-ocha at the time said that he had asked to delay the official proclamation so he could mourn.

Instead, the prince was anointed in a special ceremony 50 days after the death of his father.

The crown prince becomes King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, the 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty, but will also be known as Rama X.

“I would like to accept in order to fulfill his majesty’s wishes and for the benefit of all Thais,” he said in a TV statement.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

The broadcast showed one official shuffling on his knees to hand a microphone to the new king in the ceremony at the palace in Bangkok.

Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was among top government figures attending, said the new king would become the “heart and soul” of the nation.

Maha Vajiralongkorn was given the title of crown prince, making him the official heir, in 1972.

He is yet to enjoy the same level of popularity as his father, and spends much of his time abroad.

The prince’s accession to the throne ends a period of uncertainty during which Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, a 96-year-old former prime minister, has been serving as regent.

Thailand’s monarchy is protected from criticism by tough lèse-majesté laws, which restrict media discussion about the royal family’s role, including in the international press.

Most ordinary Thais know only a few details about who the crown prince is and how he lives his life.

In recent years he has tried to improve his profile – important because the king is traditionally seen as a guiding force in Thai politics, which is highly polarized.

Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation will not happen until after King Bhumibol’s cremation, expected next year.

Bhumibol’s own coronation took place four years after his brother King Ananda Mahidol died of gunshot wounds in mysterious circumstances.


Thailand’s parliament has invited Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to take the country’s throne.

It approved the sending of a formal invitation, which Prince Vajiralongkorn has to accept before becoming the country’s new king.

The deeply revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on October 13, plunging the Asian country into mourning.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was widely expected to succeed his father, but officials had earlier said he wanted to postpone it by at least a year.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

The official reason given was that the prince wanted to give the Thai people time to mourn his father before he became king.

According to correspondents, Thailand was left in an odd constitutional limbo as Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the undisputed heir, should have succeeded his father immediately.

In the past doubts have been expressed by senior officials over how the crown prince can perform the role played by King Bhumibol for 70 years.

The monarchy occupies a pivotal place in Thailand’s political order.

King Bhumibol had been seen as a unifying figure amid periods of political unrest, including during the most recent military coup in 2014.

The leader of Thailand’s parliament, the National Legislative Assembly, is expected to meet Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in the next few days to formally invite him. Once he accepts, his succession would then be announced to the public.

However, it is still not clear when that will happen.

Former PM Prem Tinsulanonda is currently standing in as regent.


According to Thai government officials, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn wants his coronation held off for at least a year.

Following King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death on October 13, the crown prince wants more time to mourn his father.

Former PM Prem Tinsulanonda is standing in as regent.

Current PM Prayuth Chan-ocha sought to reassure Thais about the succession in a TV address on October 15, saying they should not worry.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

This issue was discussed when Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn summoned the regent and Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha for an audience, according to Gen. Prayuth.

Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, 64, “asked the people not to be confused or worry about the country’s administration or even about the succession”, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said in his TV statement.

“He said at this time everyone is sad, he is still sad, so every side should wait until we pass this sad time.”

Questions about the crown prince’s capabilities have been raised in the past, although the strict lese-majeste laws prevents any open discussion of these.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in a military coup in 2014 which overthrew the civilian government. He has promised elections in 2017.

The monarchy is seen as a unifying force in Thailand at times of political upheaval and King Bhumibol, who died aged 88, was a figure revered by many Thais.

The military government has made clear that Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn will be the new king, but it just isn’t clear when this will happen.

Thailand is beginning a year of official mourning, and entertainment such as TV shows and sports events has been canceled or toned down.

Many Thais are wearing black and mourners have continued to converge on the Grand Palace in central Bangkok to pay their respects to King Bhumibol by signing a book of condolences.

It is unclear when the king’s cremation will take place but it is thought the ceremony could be months away.


King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s health has “overall not yet stabilized”, the Thai palace has said.

On October 9, the palace announced that King Bhumibol was in an unstable condition after receiving haemodialysis treatment.

The 88-year-old monarch is widely revered and a crowd of well-wishers have gathered outside Siriraj hospital.

Thailand’s PM Prayuth Chan-ocha canceled an official engagement to meet the Crown Prince.King Bhumibol hydrocephalus

A palace statement late on October 12 said the king’s “blood pressure lowered and breath quickened”.

It said King Bhumibol’s liver and kidneys were not working properly and he remained on a ventilator.

The unprecedented concern over the king’s health has caused stocks and Thailand’s currency, the baht, to tumble.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand closed down 2.5%, its lowest since the end of May.

A government spokesman urged people to rely on official announcements for updates on the situation, rather than on “uncorroborated information in social media circles”.

King Bhumibol is the world’s longest reigning monarch, having acceded to the throne when his brother died in 1946.

During his seven decades on the throne King Bhumibol, who is seen as a unifying force, has intervened when events threatened to plunge Thailand into crisis.

Amid increasing concerns about his health in recent months, the Royal Household Bureau has issued more frequent bulletins.

Earlier this month, a statement said King Bhumibol was recovering from a respiratory infection.

Thailand’s strict lese majeste laws mean public discussion of the king’s health and succession plans are not permitted, and are punishable by lengthy jail terms.


King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has undergone heart surgery, the Thai Royal Household Bureau announced.

The 88-year-old king, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has had a lengthy spell in hospital in Bangkok and has not been seen in public for months.

King Bhumibol is widely revered and seen as an arbiter in the country’s divided political arena.

Thailand is preparing to celebrate 70 years of his reign on June 8.King Bhumibol hydrocephalus

The king was treated for narrowing of the arteries with “satisfactory results”, the palace said in a statement.

Doctors performed a procedure known as balloon surgery to widen the arteries on June 7 after tests had shown insufficient blood in the heart muscles, the statement said.

In the past month, King Bhumibol has also been treated for a buildup of fluid surrounding the brain and a swollen lung.

An X-ray on June 4 showed less fluid around the brain, the statement said.

King Bhumibol’s health is closely watched in Thailand as he is seen as a unifying symbol and pillar of stability in a society that has suffered increased political divisions and violence.