Thailand starts year of mourning as world’s longest reigning monarch dies

Thailand has started a year of mourning after the death of the world’s longest-reigning monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej, at the age of 88. The palace did not give a reason for his death, but said in a statement: “Although the team of doctors treated him to the best of their ability, his condition deteriorated. His Majesty has passed away at Siriraj Hospital (in Bangkok) peacefully.” The king’s son and heir apparent, the 64-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is expected to succeed to the throne.

He is now in heaven and may be looking over Thai citizens from there

Prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

The king, who came to the throne in 1946, is deeply revered in Thailand where he was seen as a quiet, stabliising influence on a county where political upheaval has been the norm. The country is still under military rule after generals seized power in 2014 following a decade of turmoil. Thailand’s prime minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha said an heir to the throne has been designated since 2002 and the cabinet would inform parliament. He also urged Thais to love one another and to preserve “the father’s land”.

A constitutional monarch must change with the country but at the same time he must keep the spirit of the country

King Bhumibol Adulyadej