(b. 5 Dec. 1927).
King (Rama IX) of Thailand 1946– Born in Massachusetts, where his father, Prince Mahidol of Songkhla, studied medicine, he succeeded his brother, Ananda Mahidol, to the throne, and was crowned in 1950 upon finishing his studies in Switzerland. Following the abolition of the absolute monarchy in the 1932 revolution, the King retained a largely ceremonial role as head of state, and as Commander‐in‐Chief. The world's longest reigning monarch became an important integrative national symbol, and a moderating force in the country's stormy political history, which was characterized by varying degrees of military rule.