King of Siam Rama IX
King Rama IX Longest Reigning Monarch of Thailand
After the sudden death of his brother King Rama VIII, Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej became the next King of Thailand. He was born in Massachusetts in the United States and was the younger son of his parents Prince Mahidol and Princess Srinagarindra. His name when translated means Strength of the Land or Incomparable Power. In order for him to be born as a Thai the hospital room was temporarily declared as Thai territory. After his father finished his medical studies, the entire family went home to Thailand. He and his siblings briefly attended a Bangkok school until there was a need to bring them out of danger due to the coup d’etat taking place in Thailand.
He ascended to the throne after his brother suffered a gunshot wound. However, he went back to Switzerland to finish his studies. His uncle, Prince Rangsit was appointed as Prince Regent while the king was gone. While he was abroad, he authorized a military coup to overthrow the government of Luang Thamrong Navasawat. This started the 30 years of uninterrupted military dictatorship under his rule. He also authorized a constitution to get back the monarchy taken away by the 1932 Thai Revolution.
While he was finishing his degree in Switzerland he met his soon to be wife Sirikit Kitiyakara who was the daughter of the Thai Ambassador to France. Just a week before his coronation, the couple was married. From this union came four children: Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, Princess Maha Vajiralongkorn, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak. He was crowned King of Thailand in the RoyalPalace in Bangkok. When his grandmother died, he entered monkhood for a brief period of time as dictated by Thai customs after the death of a relative. Queen Sirikit was appointed as regent.
During this time the country was seeking for a King who would guide them into prosperity. He kept his vow to reign with righteousness that will benefit his people. His main focus was to improve the livelihood of the Thai people. He remained a strong pillar through all of the political upheavals that his country has undergone. He acts as a mediator rather than being directly involved in what was taking place. He only involved himself when there is a question of bloodshed.
He was the first monarch to truly care for his people that he went and visited them in their homes. In his visits he was always concerned about how to create roads that will connect every town for the purpose of creating a “route to prosperity” for his people. In his travels he took medical teams with him to help heal his people. He was also concerned about the agricultural state of the land. He helped farmers address their irrigation problems. He eradicated opium and suggested alternative crops to grow instead. During times of crisis and calamities he was always the first to visit the place. He is the longest running monarch who reigns in Thailand. He is forever considered as the people’s King. To learn more about this, rear our article about the Thai Royal Family.