Key dates in Thai King Bhumibol's reign

Key dates in Thai King Bhumibol's reign

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the world's longest-reigning monarch until his death on Thursday (Oct 13) at the age of 88.

Thai royal family photo

BANGKOK: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the world's longest-reigning monarch until his death on Thursday (Oct 13) at the age of 88.

He died after a long battle with illness and had spent much of the last few years in hospital.

Here are some key dates in a reign that spanned seven decades.

Jun 9, 1946: Bhumibol assumes the throne aged 18 after his brother is shot dead in mysterious circumstances at the Royal Palace in Bangkok.

May 5, 1950: After finishing his studies in Switzerland, he returns to Thailand for his formal coronation - a week after marrying his cousin Queen Sirikit. He becomes Rama IX of the Chakri dynasty.

October 1973: Scores are killed when a military government cracks down on protests. The king makes his first major political intervention, asking the prime minister to leave the country and later appointing a new premier.

Thai King in 1974

King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand attend the cremation ceremony of the victims during the first anniversary of October 1973. (Photo: STR/AFP)

October 1976: Dozens of students protesting against the return of Thailand's exiled prime minister are killed by right-wing militias, police and soldiers in a crackdown. The massacre prompts a coup, which returns the military to power. Bhumibol later approves the coup.

May 1992: Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters fill the streets of Bangkok demanding a return to civilian rule. Dozens are killed during "Black May" after military chief General Suchinda Kraprayoon assumes the prime minister's post without contesting elections.

The king summons the general and a pro-democracy leader to the palace and admonishes them in a dramatic televised effort to reconcile the two sides cementing his reputation as a unifying force. The killings stop and Suchinda agrees to resign.

Thai King admonishes

A television grab of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (R), when he urged the then-military government chief Suchinda Kraprayoon (C) and pro-democracy protest leader Chamlong Srimuang (L). (Photo: AFP/TV 9)

Oct 11, 1997: The king signs the country's 16th charter into law. Dubbed the "People's Constitution" it is the most progressive of Thailand's charters and a major development for political reform and democracy.

April 2006: After months of protests, Thailand holds inconclusive elections that paralyse the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Amid the political deadlock, the king chastises the Supreme Court on national television for failing to take action. Within days, the election is invalidated and the process to organise new polls begins.

Thai King and Thaksin

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (R) grants an audience to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (4th L), cabinet members and other dignitaries at Dusidalai Throne Hall in Bangkok on Dec 4 2005. (Photo: AFP/Royal Palace)

Sep 19, 2006: A bloodless coup ousts Thaksin while he is at the UN General Assembly. A few hours after the putsch, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who led the takeover, meets the king.

The coup sparks years of protests in a country split between Thaksin's supporters - many of whom are in the rural north and northeast - and his foes in the powerful Bangkok-based elite in the palace, military and bureaucracy.

August 2009: The king makes a rare speech, broadcast on national television and radio, warning that the country could collapse if its feuding political factions do not unite.

September 2009: The king is admitted to Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital, where he is put on a drip and diagnosed with a lung infection. Thousands visit the hospital to sign a book for well-wishers.

April-May 2010: Bhumibol remains largely silent during a military crackdown on pro-Thaksin "Red Shirt" supporters that leaves more than 90 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Thai King and Yingluck

In this handout photograph released by the Royal Bureau, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (L) talks with King Bhumibol Adulyadej (R) during the oath of allegiance ceremony at Siriraj hospital in Bangkok on Aug 10, 2011. (Photo: AFP/Royal Bureau)

August 2013: The king leaves hospital and moves to his coastal palace in the seaside town of Hua Hin with Queen Sirikit.

December 2013: He urges the nation to work together for "stability" after several days of violent clashes during demonstrations aimed at overthrowing premier Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's sister.

May 22, 2014: Thai army again seizes power.

August 2014: Bhumibol is readmitted to hospital where he spends much of the following years.

October 2014: King undergoes an operation to remove his gall bladder.

May 5, 2015: The monarch makes a rare public appearance as he attends 65th anniversary celebrations of his official coronation at a palace in Bangkok.

Aug 11, 2015: The palace says the king received treatment for water on the brain and a chest infection which he later recovers from.

Dec 15, 2015: The palace releases video footage of Bhumibol swearing in a group of judges at his hospital, his most recent public appearance.

Jun 7, 2016: King undergoes heart operation to widen arteries, according to palace.

Jun 9, 2016: Thailand marks 70th anniversary of the king's ascension to the throne.

Sep 3, 2016: The palace announces the king has received treatment for a "severe" blood infection.

Oct 9, 2016: Doctors treating the king say his condition is not stable. Crowds of well-wishers soon gather outside his Bangkok hospital.

Oct 13, 2016: Palace announces King Bhumibol died at 3.52pm local time.

Source: CNA

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