Bhumibol Adulyadej Coronation (1950)

king_rama_ix_being_presented_with_regalia_at_coronation

King Bhumibol of Thailand is seen here being crowned. Thailand throughout most of the 20th century had a turbulent history. The monarchy although symbolic and having no real political power was a source of unity among the Thai population. The reality was that Thailand was ruled by a series of military dictatorships. There were also cases in which the monarchy would back dictatorships as means of maintaining order in the volatile nation. A communist insurgency and drug trade from the Golden Triangle were constant challenges for Thailand. Even though there were shifts between military dictatorships and democratic experiments King Bhumibol  provided a level of comfort to a concerned population. He ascended the throne after the mysterious assassination of his brother in 1946. He would go on to be the world’s longest reigning monarch to date. Theoretically a constitutional monarch his influence could not be underestimated. The King did have involvement in the removal and coup against   Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006. The  businessman and populist worried the military, monarchy, and conservative elite. The King died in October of 2016  ending a era of Thai history. The only unifying force is gone and  at a point in which another military regime is in place under Prayut Chan o-cha.

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