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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Life in pictures: Thailand's king

King Bhumibol in Bangkok in February 2001

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the world's longest-reigning monarch, marks 60 years on the throne on Friday.

King Bhumibol and his fiancee, Sirikit Kitiyakara, in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1949

He ascended the throne on 9 June 1946 after his elder brother died mysteriously. In 1950, he married a diplomat's daughter, Sirikit Kitiyakara, and was formally crowned one week later.

The Royal Barge sails on the Chao Phraya rive in Bangkok in preparation for the anniversary celebrations

During the 1950s and early 1960s, monarchic traditions such as the royal barge were revitalised by military leaders seeking political legitimacy, allowing the monarchy to flourish.

The Thai royal couple with the Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace in July 1960

In 1955, King Bhumibol became the first monarch to visit Thailand's poor north-eastern region. In 1960 he embarked on a series of state visits to countries around the world.

A monk walks past soldiers during protests in Bangkok in May 1992

The king has played a key role in times of political crisis. In both 1973 and 1992, his involvement ended bloodshed during popular protests against military leaders.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra prostrates himself before a portrait of the king during a ceremony at Thai Government House in March 2005

In April 2006 he used his influence to end political deadlock following an election boycotted by the opposition. A new election will be held, though the date is not yet set.

King Bhumibol harvests rice in Prachinburi province, where he initiated a project growing rice seedling for farmers

The king is a deeply revered figure. His work on projects as diverse as irrigation and fruit cultivation have made him very popular among Thailand's people.




SEE ALSO:
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Country profile: Thailand
25 May 06 |  Country profiles


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