- Title: Thais welcome the new king
- Date: 1st December 2016
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PORTRAIT OF KING MAHA VAJIRALONGKORN BEING PLACED INSIDE TEMPLE
- Embargoed: 16th December 2016 17:25
- Keywords: Thailand king Vajiralongkorn king rama X late king Bhumibol Chakri dynasty
- Location: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- City: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Reuters ID: LVA0035B1YO93
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, became Thailand's new king on Thursday (December 1) after he accepted an invitation from parliament to succeed his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha made the announcement in a televised address to the nation shortly after Prince Vajiralongkorn, who will be known as King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, met Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the National Legislative Assembly, at Bangkok's Dusit Palace to accept the invitation.
Thailand has been without a monarch since King Bhumibol's death with the head of the king's advisory council, Prem Tinsulanonda, 96, serving as regent.
Thais gathered in Buddhist temples across the country to join in chants and prayers to give blessing to the new king.
"As we have a new king today, I am glad that I was able to join this prayer ceremony for his majesty," said 49-year old Thitirat Soisoonthorn.
King Bhumibol was widely loved and regarded as a pillar of stability during decades of political turbulence and rapid development in the Southeast Asian nation.
The new king has yet to command the kind of adoration that his father received from Thais and he has kept a much lower profile throughout most of his adult life.
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