After his death, the Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-ocha, the junta leader, said Thailand would hold a one-year mourning period and that all entertainment functions must be “toned down” for a month. Civilians will be expected to wear decent clothes. The king’s portrait is displayed outside public buildings, and at the entrance to myriad villages. Parliament is to hold a special session. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will be the new monarch but he has not attained his father’s widespread popularity.
The 88-year-old king was seen as a stabilizing figure in a country hit by cycles of political turmoil and multiple coups. US President Barack Obama called him a “tireless champion of his country’s development”. Following the death of King Bhumibol, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has become the world longest-reigning monarch, having been on the throne for 64 years.