Who is Vajiralongkorn, King Rama X of Thailand?

When King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand died in 2016, it was his son, Vajiralongkorn, who succeeded him. As King Maha Vajiralongkorn (and as the 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty, also styled as Rama X), Thailand’s royal ruler lives a lavish but secretive lifestyle. Crowned in May 2019, King Vajiralongkorn was educated in England and Australia, and enjoyed a career in the military before acceding to the throne.

Take a look at the life of Thailand’s reigning monarch.

Vajiralongkorn, King of Thailand
Vajiralongkorn is the King of Thailand. As the 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty, he is also styled as Rama X.
(Photo: Wikimedia/CC BY 3.0 TH)
Maha Vajiralongkorn
Maha Vajiralongkorn was born on July 28, 1952, the only son and the second of the four children of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. He is pictured (left) in 1953 with Queen Sirikit and Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya.
Thai Royal Family
King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit with their children, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess Chulabhorn Walailak, and Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was made crown prince by his father in 1972.
Early life and education
Vajiralongkorn with his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in 1961. Vajiralongkorn began his education in 1956 at Dusit Palace, a compound of royal residences in Bangkok.
School in England
Vajiralongkorn arriving in London in January 1966. He had been sent to England to attend independent schools, first at a preparatory school, King’s Mead in Sussex, and later Millfield School in Somerset, where he completed his secondary education in July 1970.
© Getty Images
Family photo call
King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit pictured in July 1966 with their children at King’s Beeches, their private residence in Sunninghill, Berkshire.
Proud parents
The King and Queen of Thailand pictured on the eve of their son Vajiralongkorn’s 15th birthday at their private residence in Sunninghill, Berkshire
© Getty Images
Celebrity status
King Bhumibol Adulyadej being interviewed by the British press after inviting the media to his private residence. Behind him, his wife Queen Sirikit and their children mingle with journalists
© Getty Images
Military education in Australia
Queen Sirikit (right) and her son, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, leave Sydney in Australia for Bangkok in December, 1975. Vajiralongkorn had enrolled at military college in Canberra in 1972, and graduated in 1976.
© Getty Images
The man who would be king
Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn with his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. As the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri dynasty, the king was also titled Rama IX.
© Getty Images
High flyer
After graduation, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn joined the Royal Thai Army, where he served as an officer and worked for much of his adult life. He is a qualified pilot on both military and civilian aircraft. He’s pictured climbing out of the cockpit of a Northrop F-5E Tiger II jet fighter.
© Public Domain
Birthday wishes
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, and Queen Sirikit receive respects from attending dignitaries after appearing at a balcony of Anantasamakom Throne Hall on December 5, 1999, to mark the king’s 72nd birthday.
© Getty Images
Soldier and diplomat
The crown prince’s military duties included representing Thailand in the international political sphere. He’s seen here with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz during a visit to the Pentagon on June 12, 2003.
© Public Domain
Socialite
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn with his third wife, Srirasmi Suwadee, and their son, Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, at a 2007 fashion show in Paris. Pictured with them is Alain Hivelin, of French fashion house Balmain, and politician Christine Lagarde.
© Getty Images
Moving in royal circles
Royalty from around the world including Charles, Prince of Wales, Brunei’s Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn (seen here with Princess Sirindhorn), and Prince Albert II of Monaco attend the inauguration ceremony for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in Amsterdam on April 30, 2013.
© Getty Images
Cycling by
A keen cyclist, here he is seen riding a bicycle with tens of thousands of cyclists during the Bike For Dad mass cycle event to celebrate his father’s 88th birthday.
© Getty Images
Death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Thai citizens and nurses from a hospital light candles in Thai script showing numbers representing the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at a park in Bangkok on November 30, 2016, after the monarch’s death the previous month
. © Getty Images
Period of mourning
The new King Vajiralongkorn, still in mourning, is escorted after paying respects to the monument of King Rama I, the first monarch of the reigning Chakri dynasty of Siam (now Thailand), after signing the military-backed constitution in Bangkok on April 6, 2017.
© Getty Images
Funeral procession
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s cremation took place on October 26, 2017, a little over a year after he died. Pictured is King Maha Vajiralongkorn taking part in the funeral procession in Bangkok for his father.
© Getty Images
Funeral procession
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s cremation took place on October 26, 2017, a little over a year after he died. Pictured is King Maha Vajiralongkorn taking part in the funeral procession in Bangkok for his father.
© Getty Images
Face value
A bank teller shows a new 100 Thai baht banknote bearing an image of the new Thai king on April 6, 2018
. © Getty Images
Like father, like son
Thai people hold portraits of King Rama X and his father, the late King Rama IX, in a Labor Day parade on May 1, 2019 in Bangkok
. © Getty Images
Fourth wife
King Maha Vajiralongkorn legally married his long-term consort, Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya, on May 1, 2019 in Bangkok. Bestowed with the title Queen Suthida, she became his fourth wife. The marriage raised eyebrows, but under Thailand’s strict lèse-majesté laws, which forbid people to insult, defame, or threaten any member of the royal family, the king is shielded from malicious rumor and gossip.
© Getty Images
Royal duties
King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his wife, Suthida Vajiralongkorn, during a ceremony before his coronation at the Royal Palace in Bangkok on May 3, 2019.
© Getty Images
Purification
The new king is seen on May 4, 2019 during the royal purification at Bangkok’s Grand Palace, which takes place as part of the coronation ceremony.
© Getty Images
The king’s coronation
King Maha Vajiralongkorn is carried in a golden palanquin during the coronation procession on May 5, 2019. The coronation only took place three years after King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death because the new monarch wanted the country to mourn his father first.
© Getty Images
Grand parade
Crowds line Bangkok’s streets and avenues for the extravagant May 5 coronation procession. A spectacular event, some 1,300 people and elephants paraded near Thailand’s Grand Palace for six-and-a-half hours.
© Getty Images
Thai tradition
King Maha Vajiralongkorn lighting a candle in a ceremony in Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, during his coronation procession in Bangkok
. © Getty Images
New wave
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Queen Suthida, and his daughter Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol (one of seven children he has fathered) wave to well-wishers from the balcony of Suddhaisavarya Prasad Hall of the Grand Palace on May 6, as they grant a public audience on the final day of his royal coronation.
© Getty Images
Official engagement
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, accompanied by Queen Suthida and Princess Bajrakitiyabha, stands to salute while inspecting military troops during a parade marking the Royal Thai Armed Forces Day at Adisorn Military Camp in Saraburi province on January 18, 2020.
© Getty Images

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