His Majesty the Late King’s Birthday falls on 5 December. Citizens get a holiday to pay respects to and honour the Late King, His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej.
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Bhumipol Adulyadej was born in 1927 in the United States, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father was then there studying at Harvard. After a short-lived return to Thailand, he and his family moved to Switzerland and did not return until after World War II had ended. Back in Thailand, when his father and brother had already passed away, he became King of Thailand on June 9th, 1946. At that point, he took up the title, “King Rama IX.”
Later, King Bhumipol went back to Switzerland to engage in further educational pursuits, leaving an uncle to rule as regent in his place. There, he met a young lady who eventually became his wife and Queen Sirikit. Only in 1950 was he officially crowned in the traditional ceremony. King Bhumipol had four children: three daughters and one son
Although the monarchy has had little power in Thailand since a constitutional monarchy was instituted in 1932, King Bhumipol was a pillar of stability amid the upheavals of Thai politics over the decades. He managed to increase the influence and powers of the monarchy through his personal popularity and prestige.