Thailand: Birthday of HM King Rama IX

Thailand’s National Day is celebrated on the birthday of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, officially styled Rama IX, who was born on 5 December 1927.

King Bhumibol came to the throne in June 1946 and is thus the longest-reigning monarch in Thailand’s history and currently the world’s longest-serving head of state (nearly six years ahead of HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom/Canada/Australia/New Zealand etc.). A man of many talents, he is a keen sailor and sailboat designer and an accomplished jazz musician (alto saxophone) and composer, as well as maintaining a strong interest in scientific matters (he has held several patents for rainmaking and other technologies).

But it is perhaps his close association and personal involvement with economic and social development projects in Thailand throughout his reign that have led his nation to confer upon him the title “The Great” and caused him to become the recipient of the United Nations’ first, and so far only, Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award.

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