Thailand: Time is ‘appropriate’ for Crown Prince to become king

Updated 1:53 PM EST, Tue November 29, 2016
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Story highlights

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away in October

Crown Prince has yet to assume the throne

(CNN) —  

Thailand’s parliament says now is an appropriate time for Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to assume the throne.

“The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away. And the throne is now empty. It is now appropriate to invite the Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn to assume the throne,” the speaker of the National Legislative Assembly, Pornpet Vichitchonlachai, said Tuesday.

“For the next step, we shall present the message to the Crown Prince, and invite the Crown Prince to succeed the throne, according to the Palace Law.”

The Crown Prince himself now has to formally assume the throne, which is expected to happen later in the week.

Following the King’s death in October, Vajiralongkorn said he needed time to “mourn his father” before he took the crown.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn handing out an award for a Quran recital competition in Thailand in November.
AFP/Getty Images
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn handing out an award for a Quran recital competition in Thailand in November.

Thailand still in mourning

The country has been in an official state of mourning since Bhumibol’s death.

The monarch was deeply loved in Thailand and his death was a blow to the people he had reigned over for 70 years.

Speaking on the day of his death, one woman told CNN the country had lost their “father.”

An official year of mourning was called, with public servants required to wear black as a sign of respect.

40 year wait

Crown Prince Vajiralonkorn was first introduced to the Thai people through his father’s home videos, which were shown in theaters across the country.

Born in July 1952, he was educated in the United Kingdom and Australia before officially being declared the crown prince and heir apparent in 1972.

His older sister, 65-year-old princess Ubol Ratana Rajakanya, cannot take the throne because women are not allowed to become Thailand’s monarch under succession laws.

Vajiralongkorn has been married three times – to Soamsawali Kitiyakara in 1977, Yuvadhida Polpraserth in 1994 and Srirasmi Suwadee in 2001.