Thailand is marking the passage of a year since
the death of its revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a father figure to the nation during a reign that spanned seven decades. IBTimes UKlooks back at the life of the "people's king", who helped shape the Southeast Asian nation in the decades after World War Two.
He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 5 December 1927, while his father was studying at Harvard. His father died when he was less than two years old – and when his childless uncle abdicated in 1935, his nine-year-old brother Ananda became King of Thailand.
The family lived in Switzerland until the end of the Second World War. On 9 June 1946, his brother King Ananda died of a gunshot wound under mysterious circumstances, making the 18-year-old Bhumibol King of Thailand, though he was only crowned on 5 May 1950, a week after marrying Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, daughter of the Thai ambassador to France.
1929: Mom Sangwal Mahidol na Ayudhya with her children Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej (centre), Prince Ananda Mahidol and Princess Galyani Vadhana
Bureau of the Royal Household, Kingdom of Thailand
1945: Bhumibol Adulyadej with Princess Mother Sri Sangwal and Princess Galyani Vadhana at the Villa Vadhana, their private residence in Lausanne, Switzerland
Bureau of the Royal Household, Kingdom of Thailand
1946: A portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej
5 May 1950: King Bhumibol is pictured during his coronation at the Royal Palace in Bangkok
Bhumibol, whose name meant "Strength of the Land, Incomparable Power", had to live up to his name on many occasions. From bloody civil unrest to thorny political deadlock, he steered his 63 million people through many trials during his years on the throne.
Most Thais have known no other king than Bhumibol, who had come to symbolise continuity in a country that has experienced rapid development and much political upheaval. There is great concern about his eventual succession by Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, who has not earned the same respect as his father.
19 July 1960: King Bhumibol Adulyadej and wife Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara pose with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in London
Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
12 October 1960: French President General de Gaulle and his wife Yvonne pose with Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his wife queen Sirikit at the Elysee Palace in Paris
8 August 1988: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej is visited by Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Chitralada Palace in Bangkok
28 October 1996: Royal guards shade Queen Elizabeth II and King Bhumibol Adulyadej from the sun during a welcoming ceremony at Bangkok military airport during the British royals' five-day visit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Thai king's accession to the throne
25 November 1996: King Bhumibol Adulyadej shakes hands with US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as President Bill Clinton looks on during their meeting at Chitrlada Palace in Bangkok
8 May 1998: King Bhumibol Adulyadej takes pictures during the royal ploughing ceremony in Bangkok
4 November 1999: King Bhumibol Adulyadej sits on the Royal Barge during a procession on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok to celebrate his 72nd birthday
5 December 1999: King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Sirikit appear on a balcony of Anantasamakom Throne Hall to mark the king's 72nd birthday
5 August 2002: Hundreds of Buddhist Monks pray for the health of Thailand's king inside the Temple of the Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Bhumibol Adulyadej, 74, the world's longest-reigning monarch, spent time in hospital recovering from a hernia operation
19 October 2003: US President George W Bush toasts with Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej as they take part in a State Dinner at the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok
22 October 2003: Russian President Vladimir Putinand his wife Lyudmila pose with Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit at the Grand Palace in Bangkok
9 March 2005: Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra prostrates himself before a picture of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej after receiving the royal command
2 December 2005: Thai royal guards in colourful uniforms march during a celebration to commemorate King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 78th birthday at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok
12 June 2006: The Royal Barge procession cruises down the Chao Praya river in Bangkok, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's accession to the throne
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
12 June 2006: Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn greets Britain's Prince Andrew as King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit look on at Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok, during the Thai monarch's Diamond Jubilee celebrations
12 June 2006: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej sits with all his royal guests at Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok during his Diamond Jubilee celebrations
20 July 2006: Volunteers take away a woman who fainted as Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrived at the Siriraj hospital to be admitted for spinal surgery
20 July 2006: King Bhumibol Adulyadej checks his camera settings to take a picture of his well-wishers gathered at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok as he arrives to undergo surgery on his spine
4 August 2006: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej comes out to see his well-wishers in a wheelchair as he leaves Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, after successful spinal surgery
2 December 2006: King Bhumibol Adulyadejreviews a parade with Queen Mom Rajawongse Sirikit to mark his 79th birthday
7 November 2007: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaves the Siriraj hospital in Bangkok, after suffering a blood clot in his brain
Chumsak Kanoknan/ Getty Images
9 November 2007: A woman buys a pink T-shirt at a market in Bangkok. Thais started wearing pink, believing the lucky colour would bring a fast recovery to their monarch
20 October 2008: Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit hold hands during a pre-funeral ceremony for his late sister Princess Galyani Vadhana in Bangkok
5 December 2009: King Bhumibol Adulyadej waves to a crowd of well-wishers as he leaves the Siriraj Hospital to attend a ceremony at the royal palace to mark his 82nd birthday
29 September 2010: Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej goes for a concert at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok
8 August 2011: Thailand's first female Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra prostrates herself before a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as she receives the royal command
5 December 2011: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaves Siriraj Hospital for the Grand Palace in Bangkok
18 November 2012: US President Barack Obama, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador Kristie Kenney, meets with King Bhumibol Adulyadej of the Kingdom of Thailand, at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
5 December 2012: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej makes a rare public appearance on his 85th birthday
Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images
5 December 2014: Military cadets attend a ceremony celebrating the birthday of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok. He cancelled a public appearance on his 87th birthday on the advice of doctors, disappointing thousands waiting outside the hospital where he is staying, hoping for a glimpse of the world's longest-reigning monarch
10 May 2015: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaves Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok after seven months spent convalescing following surgery
5 December 2015: A woman cries as she looks up at the hospital room of the ailing King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj hospital in Bangkok, on his 88th birthday
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
9 June 2016: A well-wisher holds a new 70 Baht banknote printed to commemorate Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 70th anniversary on the throne, at the Siriraj hospital in Bangkok, where the king is residing
He was hospitalised for much of the past decade. He was readmitted to Bangkok's Siriraj hospital earlier in 2016, and was treated for water on the brain, a blood infection and lung inflammation.
Thais will bid the king a final farewell during a royal cremation function at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on 26 October. Though steeped in ancient traditions, the funeral, which will run five days, will allow greater participation by the public than those of previous kings. Artisans have spent 10 months working in Bangkok's ancient quarter to build an elaborate cremation site fashioned after a vision of heaven.
An aerial view shows the Royal Crematorium site for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok
A girl has her head shaved during a mass novice nun ordination ceremony to mark the first anniversary of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej's death, at the Sathira-Dhammasathan Buddhist meditation centre in Bangkok
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, or Rama X, succeeded his father and has overseen sweeping changes to the royal household, including the running of palace finances.