King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand was the world’s longest reigning monarch in history. Spanning over 70 years, he is the only monarch most Thai people have ever known. His leadership, diplomatic skills, and compassion for his people led him to be one of the most respected monarchs in the world. Facing over dozens of military coups in his reign, he succeeded in keeping his country stable . By creating a sense of community during decades of political strife, he gained his people’s trust. The king was not only loved in Thailand, but also recognized and praised by leaders around the globe .
King Bhumibol’s health had been deteriorating for a few years, making it a long goodbye as he was often absent to the public eye . The news of his death on October 13, 2016 struck the nation with grief. Thousands mourn the loss of their king as they crowd around Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital, where he passed. Chanting, praying and leaving flowers, the people of Thailand are devastated. The king was deeply revered and considered the heart of the nation, many even regarded him as semi-divine . The Thai flag will fly at half-mast for 30 days and officials will wear black attire for a year to pay their respects. His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is expected to become Thailand’s new king . A successful monarch, a nation’s father figure and an enigma for unity, King Bhumibol has left a profound impression on Thailand and will forever be remembered.