Bhumibol Adulyadej

Bhumibol Adulyadej po͞o´mēpôl˝ ädo͝ol´yädĕt˝ [key], 1927–2016, king of Thailand (1946–2016), b. Cambridge, Mass. A member of the Chakri dynasty, he was at school in Switzerland when his brother, King Ananda Mahidol, died (1946) under mysterious circumstances. Bhumibol ruled with a regent until 1950, when he was formally crowned Rama IX. The longest-ruling monarch in Thailand's history, he also became in 2000 the longest-reigning ruler in the world. He enjoyed great popular support and became a symbol of national unity. Although his power was largely ceremonial, he actively promoted development projects and was generally a stabilizing force in the country's turbulent politics, intervening several times to resolve governmental crises or criticize government leaders. He generally supported democratic rule, but his displeasure with the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra partially contributed to the coup that ousted Thaksin, and he subsequently gave his approval to the coup and new government. He was succeeded by his son, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. His name is also romanized as Phumiphon Adunyadet (or Adunlayadet).

See study by P. M. Handley (2006).

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