Upon a close examination of the history of Thailand’s monarchy, King Bhumibol (Rama IX) truly stand out as being a difference maker in his noble efforts to serve the Thai nation and people.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Who took the throne of the kingdom once known as Siam shortly after World War II and held it for over 70 years. He established himself as a revered personification of Thailand nationhood.
King Bhumibol passed away on October 13th, 2016 in Bangkok. He was 88 and one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history.
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V)
Although the two monarchs ruled the nation during different periods, their Majesties’ reigns shared common features in their efforts to modernize the country. King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol both inherited the throne at relatively young age.
Adopting the vast knowledge and expertise accumulated from their travels, King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol were determined to modernize the nation in order to keep up with the global standards of their respective eras. Their Majesties shared a common ultimate goal of improving the people’s lives by enabling the country to become self-sufficient, sustainable and prosperous.
Once he had returned from Europe, however, he stayed put. He stopped traveling abroad, saying there was too much to do at home. He was content to trudge through croplands in distant provinces, tending to the hundreds of development projects he encouraged and oversaw: milk-pasteurizing plants, dams that watered rice fields, factories that recycled sugar-cane stalks and water hyacinths into fuel, and countless others.
When King Bhumibol took the throne, the country’s infrastructure was growing rapidly within the central region and in major cities throughout the Kingdom. However, as with most developing economies, much of the benefits of the economic growth failed to reach the nation’s rural grassroots population. In the country’s most remote zones, access to these people was virtually impossible. Yet, King Bhumibol made it His personal mission to travel to all regions within the Kingdom in order to reach His loyal subjects regardless of their location. Throughout His travels, His Majesty initiated projects to build roadways to the country’s most remote and isolated regions.
Besides of being a king, he also enjoyed life with music, art, and plants
His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej is not just remembered as one of the great kings of Thailand, but also as the “Supreme Artist”. His Majesty, with the support of the late Princess Mother, developed a real love for art in his younger years. He composed music, played jazz on the clarinet and saxophone, wrote, painted, took up photography, and spent hours in a greenhouse at his Chitrlada Palace in Bangkok.
No one in the history of the Kingdom of Thailand has done so much to improve the well being of its people as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has initiated literally thousands of development projects that have greatly benefited the country and its people.
For seven decades, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was Thailand’s guiding light. The monarch, regarded far and wide as Father to the nation, took the country out of several deadly turns with his wise counsel. His fortitude and devotion to human development were an inspiration to all.
Regardless of the differences and disparities across Thai society, His Majesty was a solitary constant, a beacon of hope for Thais rich and poor, young and old, rural farmers and urban residents alike.
His Majesty King Bhumibol’s selflessness, generosity, and compassion will always be remembered.