H.M. The King
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama XI of the Chakri dynasty) is the world’s longest serving monarch and Thailand’s longest serving King. His illustrious reign has placed him as the centre of Thai life and society and his many accomplishments and dedication to serving his people make His Majesty one of the outstanding leaders of the modern world.
His Majesty was born in Cambridge Massachusetts, in the USA on Monday the 5th of December 1927 and completed most of his schooling in Switzerland before enrolling in Lausanne University to study science. His life changed course in 1946 on the death of his elder brother and on 9th June he became King.
The young King decided that to best serve his people he needed to continue his education and he returned to Switzerland switching his studies to law and political science. While he was in Europe the King met and began courting the Thai Ambassador to France’s daughter, Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara. An engagement followed and the couple were married on April 28th 1950, a week before his coronation.
His Majesty was crowned on May 5th 1950 at the Royal Palace in Bangkok.
During his long reign, Thailand has endured a number of political crises along a sometimes difficult road to democracy. Frequently during these crises it has been the thoughtful, diplomatic and decisive intervention of His Majesty that has steered the country on a more peaceful and united path. These actions are one of the reasons that the Kings has earned the respect and gratitude of his subjects.
Another success is the extraordinary number of Royal projects that King Bhumibol has initiated to improve the social and economic circumstances of his people. For this work, His Majesty was presented a Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award by the United Nations in 2006.
In his private life the King has also achieved expertise in a number of fields of human endeavour. He is a highly accomplished Jazz musician and composer, a painter, photographer, author. He is also an accomplished sailor, boat and sailboard designer and won a Gold Medal in the 4th South East Asian Peninsula Games in 1967.
2006 was the year of the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty’s accession to the throne which was marked by celebrations throughout the whole of His realm and great national rejoicing and thanks by the Thai people for their extraordinary King.