Heritage

Thailand's New Monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Will Be Crowned Later This Year

He's succeeding his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, after a 70-year reign.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / AFP
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King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been Thailand's official monarch for two years, following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the fall of 2016. But his long-awaited coronation has still yet to occur—and a date for the event has finally been announced.

The three-day celebration will take place on May 4 to 6, 2019. Ceremonies will take place on the first two days, with King Maha making a public appearance on the third. The date holds significance for the Thai monarchy, as King Bhumibol Adulyadej's coronation was on May 5, 1950—a day celebrated annually as a public holiday in Thailand.

"His Majesty deems it fit to hold the coronation ceremony per royal traditions for the good fortune of the nation and the kingdom, to be enjoyed by the hopeful people," the Thai palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

That said, King Maha has reportedly already expressed a desire to put his own spin on the ceremony. Per the AP, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said this past June that the new king wanted a "relatively modest" coronation, while still traditional.

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King Bhumibol.

King Maha has some big shoes to fill. His father reigned for seven decades, and was beloved by the public—Al Jazeera explains him as "a semi-divine figure in Thailand." King Maha's coronation had been delayed to allow for a period of mourning for King Bhumibol.

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"I agree to accept the wishes of the late king ... for the benefit of the entire Thai people," King Maha said when he accepted an invitation from the country's parliament to succeed his father. "This royal succession highlights a desire for stability and continuity in Thailand."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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