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Long live the King!

On the day of his crowning, he vowed to rule with righteousness in order that the Thai people may be happy and content. This was on May 5, 1950.  His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej is the longest serving monarch in Thai history. And the people are happy and content with him. He was enthroned at the age of 18 after the sudden death of his older brother King Ananda Mahidol and so he became the ninth Rama since 1782, the beginning of the Chakri Dynasty. Just 14 years ago, the military overthrew the absolute monarchy and established the constitutional monarchy. After the coup the power was transferred to politicians and the military, nevertheless the influence of the monarch at the political level and the respect of the people towards the King remained unchanged.
Thai people donÂīt title him as Rama IX, they call him Nai Luang or Phra Chao Yu Hua.

King Bhumipol is not only the Head of state but also the highest commander of the army and according to the tradition and constitution the most powerful person to keep and  protect the Buddhist belief system including other religions practiced in Thailand. His portrait is found in every house,  school, public building, shop and office. The Thais honor and love him like no other monarch. He knows their deprivations, needs and hopes and he always stands up for improving the living conditions of his people. Every year he travels in the provinces for about eight month, listening to the problems of the people in the rural areas, discussing possibilities for solving them and finally to inspect some of the so-called King's Projects. These include the construction of canals, dams and water reservoirs, as well as other programs for development such as raising the rice harvest output, fish farms, cattle breeding, reforestation and health insurance.

The royal couple
in Ko Phangan

During his travels through the countryside, King Bhumipol is usually accompanied by his daughter Princess Sirindhorn, who is also very popular and well loved by the people. Queen Sirikit and Princess Chulabhorn often join them too, while crown prince Vajiralongkorn increasingly assumes the task of foreign policy.
In his free time, the King is devoted to music. He passionately likes to play saxophone, clarinet and piano and has already composed more than 40 pieces of music. In 1960, he played with Benny Goodman and in recent times, he occasionally invites famous jazz musicians who are performing in Bangkok for jam sessions in the Royal Palace.  There is not much time left for his other hobbies like painting and sailing, although he showed his talent in several highly observed exhibitions and he won a gold metal in the South East Asian Peninsula Games in 1967 in the dinghy boat class.
On December 5, 1987, the King celebrated his sixtieth birthday. According to the astrological cycle of 12 years, he completed the 5th cycle of this life. For the believing Thai people this was a special event to celebrate their King and to show honor, as it is meant that he has reached the age of wisdom.
On June 9, 2006, King Bhumipol celebrated his 60th anniversary as The King of Thailand, the longest reigning monarch in the countrys  history.
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