bangkok - Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday at the age of 88 deceased in a hospital in Bangkok. "His royal highness is peacefully asleep in Siriraj-hospital", the Thai government said, adding that his death had occurred at 15:52 am local time.
Bhumibol was the longest serving monarch in the world. He ascends the throne on June 9, 1946. His 63-year-old son, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn succeeds him probably.
Bhumibol was born on December 5, 1927 in the US city of Cambridge. He attended a technical study, until it became clear that he had to follow his brother. He then began rights studies and political science. In 1952, the king moved definitively his palace in Bangkok.
The prince enjoyed great respect from his people. His name means "power of the country with incomparable power. Thai people saw him as a demigod and admired the ruler for his support of his poor countrymen. In almost every Thai household hangs a portrait of Bhumibol. Although the monarch in the state system has only ceremonial power, Bhumibol had the necessary influence on politics. Due to his mediation role in government crises garnered the respect frost.
Bhumibol became king at a time when the military is in control had in Thailand. But he clearly contributed to democratization. He spent his diplomatic power in practice in 1992. The hated army chief Suchinda, in April that year on a questionable manner had come to power, leaving the hands of the king. In 2006, then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra stepped down after a conversation with the king. He said to step down "out of respect for King Bhumibol and the unity of the Thai people."
Like the majority of the population Bhumibol was Buddhist. However, he acted as patron of all religions. The monarch also gave many royal projects, partly to dispel opium cultivation in the country. Many farmers switched to tea and coffee plantations, making opium cultivation virtually disappeared.
The Thai monarch was a big jazz fan and once brought a CD with his own jazz compositions. He even played the saxophone on Broadway with, among others, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman.
The king was married since 1950 with Rajini Sirikit, the daughter of an ambassador. The queen is adored by the population. Her husband struggled since the late nineties with health problems. He was regularly published in the hospital between 2009 and 2013. In recent years he appeared hardly to the people and he stayed mainly in the Klai-Kangwonpaleis or in a hospital.