The longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will have reigned for 66 years in 2012. On the fifth of May each year, Thailand celebrates Coronation Day, which marks the coronation anniversary of His Majesty the King.
On 5 May 1950, His Majesty the King had a coronation ceremony performed in the Grand Palace, in accordance with the royal tradition. The ceremony took place four years after he actually assumed his kingship on 9 June 1946, following the death of his elder brother, King Ananda Mahidol.
By tradition, the royal coronation ceremony signifies the official recognition of the ruling monarch by the entire society. A monarch who has not performed the royal coronation ceremony is regarded as an uncrowned king; he is referred to by his original name, adding “in charge of the reign,” and accorded a seven-tiered royal umbrella, not the full-honor nine-tiered one. An order from the monarch cannot be considered a royal command until a royal coronation ceremony is performed in accordance with ancient court tradition.
During the coronation ceremony 62 years ago, His Majesty pronounced the traditional oath of accession: “We shall reign with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people.” From that day onward, His Majesty has applied himself steadfastly to the diligent performance of royal tasks and activities, and striven to overcome all obstacles with patience and understanding. He leads a simple, virtuous life and interacts with his subjects unpretentiously, out of a conviction that “the suffering of the people is the suffering of the King, also.”
The fact that His Majesty the King has reigned for 66 years has given him a great advantage, as he has dealt with people from all over and in different situations. His views and suggestions are of great importance, and the Government places value in them. His advice is sought in major decisions affecting the country as a whole.
His Majesty is known around the world as a king who is devoted to working hard for the well-being of his subjects. His useful advice has helped in the improvement of their living conditions. More than 4,000 projects have been carried out under his initiatives, mainly to raise the standards of rural life and enable his subjects to be self-reliant.
Thai people are well aware of what he has done for them and recognize his great benevolence in pursuing his concerns for the benefits and happiness of the people. His Majesty has recently donated 84 million baht to the start-up fund for the establishment of Utokapat Foundation under his royal patronage. The foundation will work with various water-related agencies in handling water management in Thailand appropriately.
The foundation was established because the Thai people suffered severe floods in 2011, when His Majesty called for collective efforts to alleviate the flood problem. He also gave advice on proper water management to ease the flooding situation and the plights of his subjects.