The Thai King is the ceremonial head of state in a constitutional monarchy. Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932. The present Thai King, His Majesty King Bhumibol, is the longest reigning king in Thai history and the longest ruling monarch in the world. He was 83 yrs old on December 5th 2010. He ascended to the throne in 1946, after King Ananda Mahidol, his older brother, passed away.
Thai people truly love and respect the King. No one ever insults the King or speaks negatively about the Royal Family, as any criticism will deeply offend Thai people and will result in legal actions. The law does not permit anyone to speak in a negative manner about the Royal Family, in particular The King, and any offence can provide the offender with an jail sentence of up to 7 years, and you don’t want to be in a Thai jail, with the poor conditions therein.
In almost all Thai homes, there will be pictures of The King, and other Royal Family members, and Banks and Companies will provide customers with a calendar with a picture of The King on it each year.
The King’s birthday is a national holiday, and Thai people will celebrate his birthday to honour their beloved King. The King makes a speech every year on his birthday, which is not influenced by political issues of any government. The King is renowned for speaking his mind.
The King is the ninth King of the famous Chakri dynasty, which has held power since 1782. The King is world famous for his photography, and musical skills, he is a very gifted Jazz player, and has been an important factor in organizing and funding a number of Jazz festivals that have been held in the country.
The Royal Family also sponsors many projects throughout the Kingdom, in agriculture, education and many more areas.
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Steve Ronald McDonald in Thailand