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Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who passed away on this day in 2016. Born in Massachusetts in 1927, Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej was the second son of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, a brother of the Thai King then studying at Harvard, and Princess Srinagarindra. His father died soon after the family moved back to Thailand, and his mother moved the family to Switzerland, returning to Thailand briefly after his elder brother acceded as King Ananda Mahidol in 1935. The family lived in Switzerland until after the Second World War, when they returned to Bangkok in 1946. However, six months later, the King mysteriously died, and was succeeded by his brother, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who returned to Switzerland to complete his studies, finally returning to Thailand in 1950 for his Coronation. A week before, he married Princess Sirikit Kitiyakara, with whom he had four children, including the current King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. A very popular figure, especially after undertaking a long and successful Tour through Europe and the United States in 1960, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was seen as a unifying and calming influence through numerous coups and 20 constitutions in Thailand during his reign. The King was respected across Thailand, and regarded as semi-divine during his long Reign, which lasted more than 70 years, though the King remained in hospital for much of the last decade. After his death, the King was cremated in a lavish ceremony in 2017, marking the end of a year-long mourning period.
Click HERE to learn about the Thai Royal Orders, and HERE to take a look at my recent trip to Thailand!