Bhumibol Adulyadej

Bhumibol Adulyadej (; ; ; see full title below; born 5 December 1927) is the King of Thailand. He is also known as Rama IX, as he is the ninth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty. Having reigned since 9 June 1946, he is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, serving for . In 1957, the military overthrew the government with allegations of lèse majesté, which is offense against the dignity of the monarch, punishable under Thai law, starting a new and long-lasting relationship between the monarch and military in governmental matters. Although Bhumibol did invite public criticism in a 2005 speech, the lèse majesté laws have not been revoked by the Thai parliament. Forbes estimated Bhumibol’s fortune—including property and investments managed by the Crown Property Bureau, a unique body that is neither private nor government-owned, to be US$30 billion in 2010, and he was the head of the magazine’s list of the „world’s richest royals” from 2008 to 2013. In May 2014, Bhumibol’s wealth was once again listed as US$30 billion. Officially the assets managed by the CPB are owned by the crown as an institution, not Bhumibol Adulyadej as an individual. Since 2006, Bhumibol has suffered declining health and has spent extended periods at Siriraj Hospital. Bhumibol is generally highly revered by the people in Thailand, but his heir Vajiralongkorn does not share the popularity of his father, leading to concerns that the Thai monarchy will lose prestige and influence after Bhumibol’s death.

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