- Title: File footage of new Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn
- Date: 26th July 2017
- Summary: PORTRAIT OF KING BHUMIBOL AND CROWN PRINCE MAHA VAJIRALONGKORN IN MATCHING SUITS VARIOUS OF PORTRAIT OF KING BHUMIBOL AND VAJIRALONGKORN WEARING DECORATED MILITARY UNIFORM Displays of portraits of King Bhumibol and Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn are on the rise as the kingdom prepares the groundwork for its first royal succession in nearly 70 years.
- Embargoed: 9th August 2017 01:30
- Keywords: Thailand Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn file profile
- Location: BANGKOK, HUA HIN, LOPBURI PROVINCE, PATTANI PROVINCE, KRABI, THAILAND
- City: BANGKOK, HUA HIN, LOPBURI PROVINCE, PATTANI PROVINCE, KRABI, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Royals
- Reuters ID: LVA00C6RDRD51
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:King Maha Vajiralongkorn will turn 65-year-old on July 28, celebrating his birthday for the first time as Thailand's king following the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej in October last year.
He is the second of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit's four children and their only son. He was educated at private schools in Britain and Australia before attending the Royal Military College Duntroon in Canberra.
According to the prince's official biography, he is a qualified helicopter and fighter pilot, who saw action against communist insurgents in Thailand in the 1970s. He holds the honorary military ranks of general, admiral and air chief marshal.
Keeping a much lower profile for most of his adult life, Vajiralongkorn has spent a significant amount of his adult life abroad, mostly in Germany where he has a home.
Vijaralongkorn has yet to command the kind of adoration that King Bhumibol received from Thais but that has changed since 2014, when he assumed more royal duties in place of his ailing father.
King Bhumibol's promotion and funding of charitable work in rural areas endeared him to the population. Media coverage of his son has focused on his marriages and divorces.
Like his father, Vajiralongkorn is shielded from public criticism by Thailand's lese majeste laws, which have seen offenders jailed for up to 30 years for perceived insults to the monarchy. The laws effectively restrict negative reporting in Thailand about the royal family.
His personal life and suitability as king have been the subject of private speculation by Thais and overseas observers beyond the reach of the law.
On December 2016, less than two months after the passing of former King Bhumibol, Vajiralongkorn ascended to throne as Rama X, or the 10th king of Thailand's Chakri Dynasty, after he accepted an invitation from parliament.
A nationwide celebration is expected on July 28 although Thailand is still observing a one-year mourning period for the late king.
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