The longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will have reigned for 70 years on 9 June 2016. Various activities have been prepared to celebrate this special occasion.
His Majesty actually assumed his kingship, succeeding his brother as head of state on 9 June 1946, after which he returned to Switzerland to resume his studies at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, he came back and had a royal coronation ceremony performed in the Grand Palace on 5 May 1950.
On 5 May each year, Thailand celebrates Coronation Day, which marks the coronation anniversary of His Majesty the King. By tradition, the royal coronation ceremony signifies the official recognition of the ruling monarch by the entire society. It was formalized as a royal court tradition in the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV).
The royal coronation ceremony of the present reign, 66 years ago, was based on the royal coronation of the Seventh Reign, but adopted to suit the reduced conditions of the country in the post-war period, and more importantly, to be in harmony with the spirit of the democratic era.
During the coronation ceremony, His Majesty pronounced the traditional oath of accession: “We shall reign with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people.” From that day onward, His Majesty has applied himself steadfastly to the diligent performance of royal tasks and activities, and striven to overcome all obstacles with patience and understanding. He leads a simple, virtuous life and interacts with his subjects unpretentiously, out of a conviction that “the suffering of the people is the suffering of the King, also.”
Before the coronation day, His Majesty the King married Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara on 28 April in the same year, and on his coronation day, he elevated his consort to the highest rank and conferred on her the title “Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.” Her Majesty the Queen always remains at the side of His Majesty, sharing his concern for the suffering of the Thai people and his hopes for their future well-being and happiness.
His Majesty has been the leading and guiding spirit behind much of Thailand’s remarkable growth in international prestige and trust. He is known around the world as a king who is devoted to working hard for the well-being of his subjects.
His useful advice has helped in the improvement of their living conditions. More than 4,000 projects have been carried out under his initiatives, mainly to raise the standards of rural life and enable his subjects to be self-reliant.