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His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, was born at 8:45 on the morning of Monday, 5 December 1927 at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America. He is the third and youngest child of H.R.H. Prince Mahidol of Songkla and Mom Sangwan, known later as Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajajonani (Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother). The King has one elder sister and brother, namely H.R.H. Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra and His Majesty King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII).

At the time of Prince Mahidol's death in 1929, the young prince Bhumibol was barely two years old. In 1933 the prince went to live in Lausanne, Switzerland, together with his mother and two elder siblings.

In Switzerland, the prince conducted himself just like any ordinary citizen. He received his elementary education at Miremont School and went on to secondary level at the Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande in Chailly. He received the Bachelieres Lettres diploma from the Gymnase Classique Cantonal of Lausanne. He then chose to enroll at Lausanne University to study science, but upon his becoming king switched his major to law and political science. His Majesty the King ascended the throne on 9 June 1946. After the accession, he went back to Switzerland to resume his studies. While pursuing his education abroad, the King met and fell in love with Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, the eldest daughter of His Serene Highness Prince Nakkhatra Mangala Kitiyakara, the Thai ambassador to Paris, and Mom Luang Bua Kitiyakara. The two royals announced their engagement on 19 July 1949 in Lausanne. On 28 April 1950, a wedding ceremony took place at the mansion of the Dowager Queen Savang Vadhana, His Majesty's paternal grandmother, inside the compound of Sra Pathum Palace.

On 5 May 1950, the Ceremony of Coronation was performed at the Grand Palace to mark the formal institution of the Imperial Crown and His Majesty's style and title. On this auspicious occasion, the Royal Consort Queen Sirikit was likewise elevated in a ceremony to the full title of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, or Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Boromarajini.

In the course of the time, Their Majesties the King and Queen had one son and three daughters:

  1. Princess Ubol Ratana, born on 5 April 1951 at Lausanne, Switzerland;
  2. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, born on 28 July 1952;
  3. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, born on 2 April 1955;
  4. Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn, born on 4 July 1957.
The year 2006 marks the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne. For the greater part of the reign, the King took it upon himself to undertake countless royal initiatives and projects aimed at relieving the hardships and improving the well-being of all segments of the population. His Majesty's operations extend over virtually all crucial areas of national concern that affect the lives of his people, including agriculture, water resources, forestry and ecology, medicine and public health, occupation enhancement, communications and transportation, social welfare, disaster relief operations, and education.

On the grand occasion of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty's accession to the throne, the Government has obtained royal consent and permission to organize the celebrations of the anniversary in accordance with the established customs of the Crown. The timetable of celebrations has been set from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2006 under the royally bestowed appellation "The Sixtieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty's Accession to the Throne."

What is also important is that the entire population of more than 60 million stand united in their hearts in showing their allegiance and support for their beloved monarch in gratitude for and recognition of his boundless compassion. Their awareness is full and unanimous that this king embodies the solid pillar of strength with which the Thai nation has navigated safely through the turbulent course of events challenging our nationhood in the latter half of the 20th century. Furthermore, the great bounties spinning off from the royal initiatives and programs have helped to steady and carry forward the prosperity and progress of Thailand. By the grace of His Majesty the King, the masses of Thai people have lived in peace and happiness throughout the 60 years of his reign, and will continue to do so for a long, long time.