Thai king dies after 70 years' reign

  • 14/10/2016
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Ananta Samakhom throne in Bangkok in July 10, 1995 (Reuters)
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Ananta Samakhom throne in Bangkok in July 10, 1995 (Reuters)

Thailand is in deep mourning after the death of their king, the world's longest reigning monarch.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej had reigned since June 9 1946, and was two years younger than Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

Following his death, the Queen becomes the longest serving current head of state.

The king, whose name means "strength of the land, incomparable power" - had been in poor health for a number of years and was rarely seen in public.

His popularity stemmed partly from his long reign, but he was also viewed as a pillar of stability. Strict lese-majeste laws banned any criticism of him or the Thai royal family.

The palace said the king passed away peacefully on Thursday at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital.

"Even though the board of doctors has closely monitored and treated him to the best of its abilities, the king's condition never improved but deteriorated until Thursday," it said in a statement.

It did not mention details of mourning or succession.

"The parliament here held an extraordinary session they just wrapped it up a short time ago without naming a successor," Will Ripley reported.

"It was thought crown prince Vajiralongkorn who's the 64-year-old crown prince would have been named successor by the parliament - that has not happened.

"The word is from the government that they just don’t feel that it's the right time to name a successor."

Thailand's prime minister says Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn had confirmed he will perform his duty as heir to the throne following the death of his father, signalling the prince's widely expected ascension.

"When the right time comes, the crown prince confirmed that he has realised his duty and will continue to perform his duty as the heir to the throne," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said.

Reuters / Newshub.