Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dies At 88 After 70-Year Reign

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dies At 88 After 70-Year Reign

By CNN on October 13, 2016
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King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered and unifying figure who embodied the nation in his 70-year reign, has died aged 88.

The announcement came in a statement from the Royal Palace read on state TV on Thursday, October 13, 2016, and followed a days-long outpouring of support since the king was hospitalised on October 3. He underwent medical procedures over the weekend.

Following the news of King Adulyadej, thousands of Thai people gathered at the hospital, shouting, “Long live the king!”

The king died at 3:52 p.m. local time and passed away in a “peaceful manner,” the Royal Palace said, as thousands waited outside the hospital where he lay in nervous anticipation of the news.

King Bhumibol ascended to the throne 70 years ago, making him the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, before his death.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is the king’s appointed successor, but exactly when he will ascend to the throne is unknown.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said “he needs time to jointly mourn with Thai people.”

Civil servants in Thailand have been ordered to wear black clothes for one year in mourning from Friday.

“This is a man who had earned this nation’s respect over 70 years, for being a leader yes, but also for being a leader who had the common touch,” CNN Correspondent Will Ripley said outside the Siriraj Hospital, where hundred of Thai had gathered for days, waiting for news of the monarch’s health.

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