After Unusual Delay, Rama X Takes His Throne

Maha Vajiralongkorn wanted to mourn his late father, who ruled before him for 70 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 2, 2016 12:16 AM CST
In this image made from video, Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn kneels under a portrait of his late father at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Thursday.   (Thai TV Pool via AP)
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(Newser) – Thailand has a new king, with the country's crown prince formally taking the throne to succeed his much-revered late father, who reigned for 70 years. The new monarch, who received the title "His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun," assumed his new position Thursday, according to an announcement broadcast on all TV channels, the AP reports. He will also be known as Rama X, the 10th king in the Chakri dynasty that was founded in 1782. A videotaped broadcast showed senior officials presenting the formal invitation to the prince to become king, and then his acceptance. It then showed the officials prostrate themselves at the feet of the new king, who was wearing a formal white uniform with decorations.

"I would like to accept in order to fulfill his majesty's wishes and for the benefit of all Thais," Vajiralongkorn said in the videotape. Vajiralongkorn's father, Bhumibol Adulyadej, died on Oct. 13 at age 88 after many years of ill health. In 1972, Bhumibol designated Vajiralongkorn—his second child and only son—as his successor. Vajiralongkorn, 64, was originally expected to assume the throne the day his father died, but in a surprise announcement, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the prince asked for the succession to be put off so he would have time to mourn. On Friday, the new king carried out his first official duty, attending a solemn religious ceremony to honor his father. (After Bhumibol's death, vendors across Thailand ran out of black clothes.)

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