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King Bhumibol Adulyadej

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the United States of America, on December 5, 1927, being the third and youngest child of Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Mahidol of Songkhla.  Even the facts of his birth seem to be significant in several ways.  He is, first of all, the direct grandson of His Late Majesty King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who was renowned for the great reforms which he made to all Thai institutions, bringing them up to date and in line with the rest of the western-oriented world. 

Secondly, the fact that he is the son of Prince Mahidol is also significant since Prince Mahidol himself was perhaps one of the most modern-minded of all the sons of King Chulalongkorn.  (Prince Mahidol’s life was dedicated to the development of many modern ideas, particularly in the field of medical science and he is known as the father of the modern Thai medical profession.)

king bhumibol adulyadej thailand

Last but not least, King Bhumibol was given the significant name of Bhumibol Adulyadej, meaning ‘Strength of the Land with Incomparable Power’.  This name becomes prophetic as his reign advances through various critical periods and the Thai nation evolves more and more around the throne as the sole source of unity and strength. 

Prince Mahidol returned to Thailand and passed away when His Majesty was not yet two years old.  After a brief period of primary schooling in Bangkok, His Majesty left with the rest of his family for Switzerland where he continued his secondary education at the Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, Chailly sur Lausanne, and received the Bachelieres Lettres diploma from the Gymnase Classique Cantonal of Lausanne.  He then chose to enter Lausanne University to study Science, but the death of his elder brother King Ananda Mahidol in Bangkok  (Rama VIII) on June 9, 1946, changed the course of his life completely.  The law of succession had suddenly bestowed on him the arduous and challenging responsibility of the Thai crown.  His Majesty decided to go back to Switzerland for another period of study, but this time in the subject of political science and law in order to equip himself with the proper knowledge for government.  In 1950, His Majesty returned to Thailand for the coronation ceremony, which took place on May 5th.  Following the coronation ceremony, he went back to Switzerland for another period of study before the urgent call of his country and people brought him back to Thailand in 1951 to stay.

king thailand

His Majesty met and became engaged on July 19,1949 to Mom Rajawongse Sirikit, daughter of His Highness Prince Chandaburi Suranath (Mom Chao Nakkhatra Mangala Kitiyakara) and Mom Luang Bua Kitiyakara (nee Mom Luang Bua Snidwongse).

Their Majesties were married by Her Majesty Queen Sawang Vadhana, the paternal grandmother of His Majesty, at Sra Pathum Palace in Bangkok on April 28, 1950 and Their Majesties have four children namely, Their Royal Highnesses Princess Ubol Ratana, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and Princess Chulabhorn.


The Royal Emblem depicts the Royal Cipher of His Majesty the King in a golden yellow colour, the colour of His Majesty's day of Birth. It is trimmed in gold on a golden blue background, which is the colour of the Monarchy, and encircled by diamonds, first of gems, meaning the wise men, important authors of the court, well known craftsmen, important elephants, graceful ladies, valiant soldiers, courtiers.

These most distinguished in royal service of utmost honesty are comparable to gems that are diamonds surrounding and honouring His Majesty, who is even more precious than all the gems that are diamonds, being the King who resides as the most precious diamond in the heart of the people, treating their suffering and nurturing their happiness. He is the refuge of joyful happiness to His subjects of different races and religions in His Kingdom.

kings emblem thailand

This Royal Cipher is placed on the Noble Throne of Bhadrapith and surmounted by the Great Crown of Victory and Insignia, which is one of the Five Royal Regalia, surrounded by the Sword of Victory and the Royal Whisk of the Yak's Tail inserted in the back-rest of the Noble Throne of Bhadrapith to the left of the Great Crown of Victory. There are the Royal Sceptre and the Royal Fan inserted to the right of the back-rest of the Noble Throne of Bhadrapith, which is placed on a stand where the Royal Slippers are laid. These together are called the Five Royal Regalia composed of objects which signify Kingship, namely, the Great Crown of Victory, the Sword of Victory, the Royal Sceptre, the Royal Fan with the Royal Whisk, and the Royal Slippers, symbolising the Year of Commemoration of the Accession to the Throne. Below, on pink ribbon trimmed with gold is written in gold an inscription beneath the platform which reads “The Sixtieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty the King's Accession to the Throne B.E. 2549 (AD. 2006)”.

The ends of the ribbon are tied by a white ape-man holding one end of the decorative arch which frames the Emblem on the right side, while on the left side, the end of the ribbon is tied by a picture of a Garuda, which is a Garuda with a white face and a vermilion mixed red body holding the other end of the decorative arch of the Emblem. All the background of the Emblem is coloured green mixed gold, which means: the might of the Royal day of Birth and also the prosperity and fertility of the land which His Majesty has reigned over and nurtured most strenuously ever since He acceded to the Throne. Now the great auspicious time has arrived to celebrate and honour the Sixtieth Anniversary of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne, which is the longest that any King has reigned in the royal chronicles of the nation of Siam.

The King at Work

Blessed with a perceptive as well as imaginative mind, His Majesty has set himself with relish from the beginning of His Reign to analyze and find the true circumstances of the task at hand. His inborn sense of intense dedication guides him in his efforts to devise the best approach and then accomplish the task in the best possible manner. His sense of involvement, be it small or significant duties, is always so total that he is never content until each duty is carried out to his complete satisfaction. 

His Majesty starts by being meticulous in what is usually regarded as mere formalities such as in putting his Seal or Signature to all Laws and Decrees down to minor Public Orders. He acquaints himself with all subjects that pass before him, and makes observations wherever appropriate, requesting clarifications from the relevant officials whenever necessary. He makes formal State Functions into personal affairs, even adjusting the details of some ceremonies to make them more authentic and meaningful. Above all, he always takes the opportunity to meet and talk with the people from all walks of life that attend these ceremonies in order to learn the true circumstances of their professions and thereby the true conditions of the country.

As foreign relations are always conducted at the Head-of State level, His Majesty exercises to the full his prerogative in dispatching and receiving envoys to and from friendly nations. These formal functions are, however, conducted by him with a most personal touch. He anoints each Thai Ambassador in the farewell audience and gives appropriate words of advice. Foreign envoys accredited to the Thai Court are received in both formal and informal audiences, and His Majesty uses the latter to forge close personal bonds, which lead to smoother and more sympathetic cooperation. Even foreign dignitaries who are only here temporarily, or have come to cooperate with the Thai Government, are frequently received in audience. Moreover, Their Majesties have assiduously developed personal links with Heads of States and the peoples of friendly foreign countries by paying and receiving State and Official Visits to and from various countries around the world. Such visits and exchanges with over thirty countries have been arranged not only to bind the Heads of State in close bonds of personal friendship but also to afford opportunities for friendly acquaintances of government officials and to create a better understanding between the peoples.

As a man, King Bhumibol Adulyadej has displayed a remarkable range of talents. He is a gifted musician and composer, particularly in the field of jazz. Indeed, one of his songs was featured in a Broadway musical in the early 1950’s, and such masters as Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton have acknowledged his skills. He was an enthusiastic sailor in the early years of his rule and won the Southeast Asia Peninsula Games gold medal in 1967. In addition, he can point to impressive achievements in the fields of painting, photography, and engineering. Thanks to his international education and upbringing, he is fluent in three European languages and at ease in a variety of cultures. Undoubtedly, though, posterity will remember him most for his accomplishments as leader of the Thai nation during a critical period in its history.

The King and Queen of Thailand

king and queen thailand

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