Many people wanted to advance, not theories but facts, to clear up the affair.They were suppressed and they were suppressed by influential people in this country or international politics.” A trio of palace courtiers were sentenced to death for regicide, even though few believed them responsible, and many suspected that Ananda had died by suicide or through an accident.By the end of World War II, adds Handley, “both were better suited for the life of well-heeled bon vivants in Europe than golden-robed, sacral princes in an impoverished tropical Asian state.” Unencumbered by kingly burden, Bhumibol was by all accounts a joyful and healthy child, though the same was not true of his brother, the crown prince.

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Faced with international censure for human-rights abuses, the junta has been moving closer to Beijing, repatriating persons of interest to China without little regard to international condemnation.

With the issue of succession resolved, Washington will hope that democracy can be restored and a crucial relationship repaired.

And so Bhumibol and his elder brother Ananda, who was heir to the throne of their uncle, King Prajadhipok, were first ensconced in the U. and later to the safety of Lausanne, a city perched on the shores of Lake Geneva in the Swiss Alps.

There they grew up under the care of their formidable commoner mother, Srinagarindra née Sangwal Talapat, following the premature death of their father, Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, who was a pioneering doctor as well as Prajadhipok’s brother.

Bhumibol’s impending death was a source of deep anxiety in Thailand.

Very few Thais are old enough to have known another King, presenting a challenge for his only son and named heir, Vajiralongkorn.

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Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the superlative monarch.

First, arch royalist General Sarit Thanarat seized power in a September 1957 coup, to which Bhumibol gave his blessing.

A notorious womanizer and lush, Sarit in return cemented the link between the military and the monarchy, placing Bhumibol at society’s zenith.

5, 1927, during a turbulent period in the Kingdom of Siam, as Thailand was then known, where myriad parties were plotting to end the absolute rule of the crown.