In homage to His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on December 5, 1927, in Massachusetts, but spent his teenage  years in Switzerland, where he developed a keen interest in sailing and jazz. He became an accomplished guitarist and saxophonist and over the years has composed many pieces of music.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej  ascended the throne in 1946 at the age of eighteen, and was formally crowned in 1950 as the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty, or Rama IX.

At his coronation at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, the King promised his subjects that we “ will reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people." Over the 66 years that followed, he kept his promise to his people.

Not only did his words wield profound influence, his actions also inspired deep respect while his ideas indelibly shaped the course of Thailand's development and the lives of the people of Thailand.

Tirelessly, he worked to improve lives, particularly of the poor, and to promote development in the rural areas. His Majesty was often seen travelling on foot over rough terrain, visiting remote communities with a camera slung around his neck and a huge map he had compiled in his hands.

Many Thais still remember these two historic moments when a country in turmoil was rescued by their king, and throughout his reign, he was beloved and highly revered by Thais, many of whom regarded him as a semi-divine father figure.

Accordingly, His Majesty’s portrait is to be seen everywhere, hung on walls or placed on altar tables inside government buildings, banks, schools, shops and homes. People kneeled and bowed when he appeared; many would weep with joy.

His Majesty had been in poor health in recent years, making few public appearances, and, most regrettably, the Palace announced last Sunday that the king's health was "not stable". Over the last week, many Thais have been wearing pink to try to bring good luck to the ailing monarch and many people have held vigil outside the hospital where he was being treated.

On Thursday 13 October 2016 at 15.52 His Majesty passed away peacefully at Siriraj Hospital, at the age of eighty-eight: the world’s longest-reigning monarch.

Throughout his life, His Majesty the King worked for the peace, prosperity and stability of the nation. He once said it would all come true "if everyone in the nation discharges his duty with all his might and puts the common interest before his own".

His actions set just such an example.  He was an inspiration to his nation and to many around the world and he will be greatly missed.

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