King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun pays his respects before a portrait of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit at the Dusit Palace in Bangkok.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun pays his respects before a portrait of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit at the Dusit Palace in Bangkok.

Thai prince becomes a king

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has accepted an invitation from parliament to become Thailand's new king, but his coronation will not take place until his father is cremated next year.

The 64-year-old prince will be known as King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, the parliament's public relations department said in a statement.

The new king said in a brief televised address: "I would like to accept the invitation for the benefit of the Thai people.”

Thailand had been with- out a monarch since the death of the much-loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October, with the regency roles being filled by the head of the king's advisory council, former prime minis- ter Prem Tinsulanonda, 96.

The new king will also be known as Rama X, as the 10th king of Thailand's Chakri Dynasty.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in a tele- vised statement that the coronation would "be at his discretion” after the cremation of the late king.



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