King Bhumibol Adulyadej died October 14, 2016 at nearly 90 years of age and the country is in a long period of official and ritual mourning.
There are life-size color photos of him all over the place. The largest billboard I have ever seen -at least 4 times wider than normal, was spotted shortly after leaving the airport on our arrival. It’s black with white lettering and draped with white & black ribbon and extols the virtues of the late King. In addition there are shrines everywhere in honor of the late King.
Thailand is one of the few countries never to have been colonized by a European power and remains a constitutional monarchy with the head of state functioning as the leader of the Armed Forces and upholder of the Buddhist faith. But this alone cannot explain the universal reverence by the people.
According to “The King and His Cult” by Laurens de Rooij King Bhumibol reigned since June 9, 1946 at age 18 upon the death of his brother. He was the longest-serving head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Thailand. Royal symbolism still has a hold on the Thai consciousness.
The crown prince, Maha Vajiralongkorn, age 64 will succeed his father but does not enjoy the same public respect and devotion as the late King. Time will tell.
Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)
~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures (This direct from Thailand).