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Thailand's new King Maha X ascends throne

By
Ed Adamczyk
Thailand's new King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun pays respect to a portrait of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Thai Queen Sirikit during the accession to the throne proclamation ceremony at the Ambara Villa of the Dusit Palace in Bangkok on Thursday. Thailand has new king after Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, accepted to ascend the throne to become the country's new monarch, the 10th King of the 234-year-old Chakri Dynasty. The King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun succeeds his father, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, who died at the age of 88 in Siriraj hospital on October 13. Photo courtesy Royal Household Bureau/European Pressphoto Agency
Thailand's new King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun pays respect to a portrait of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Thai Queen Sirikit during the accession to the throne proclamation ceremony at the Ambara Villa of the Dusit Palace in Bangkok on Thursday. Thailand has new king after Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, accepted to ascend the throne to become the country's new monarch, the 10th King of the 234-year-old Chakri Dynasty. The King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun succeeds his father, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, who died at the age of 88 in Siriraj hospital on October 13. Photo courtesy Royal Household Bureau/European Pressphoto Agency

BANGKOK, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was formally proclaimed king of Thailand on Thursday, the country's first new monarch in seven decades.

He succeeds his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned from 1946, through 10 military coups and dozens of prime ministers, until his death Oct. 13 at 88. The new king, 64, Bhumibol's only son, will be called His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, but as the 10th king of the Chakri dynasty, he can also be called King Maha X.

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In a formal procedure mandated by Thailand's constitution, Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the National Legislative Assembly, proclaimed "I wish to announce that His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has succeeded the throne since Oct. 13 onward," Thursday after meeting with the new king on Tuesday. The Assembly is an unelected body installed by the junta that seized control of Thailand's government in a 2014 coup.

A career soldier, Vajiralongkorn inherits control of a fortune believed to be in the tens of billions of dollars, and includes investments in some of the Thailand's largest companies. He is the father of seven children, has been married three times, and is ascending to the throne as the role of Thai royalty faces scrutiny after political unrest at the end of his father's reign, Bloomberg News reported.

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A coronation ceremony is expected in 2017, after the former king's cremation.

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