Thai Royal Family - Thai King
We will take you from the present Thai King to the former great Thai Kings that can be found in the history books of Thailand.
The Thai King is the ceremonial head of state in a constitutional monarchy. Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932 just following a government overthrow.
The present Thai King, His Majesty King Bhumibol, ascended the throne fourteen years later, after King Ananda Mahidol, his older brother, passed away. King Bhumibol is the longest reigning king in Thai history and the longest ruling monarch in the world.
Respect for the Thai King
Thais show great deal of love and respect to the Thai king. No one insults or talks negative about the Thai King and the Thai Royal Family as any criticism the Thai monarchy will result deep offense to Thai people and can cause legal actions.
It is not permitted under Thai law to speak in a negative way of the Thai Royal family and especially the Thai King. This offence can carry a maximum sentence of seven years in jail which is a horrible sentence considering the poor state in which Thai jails are.
The majority of Thai households have pictures or paintings of the Thai King and even his predecessors in their homes. Many Thai people meet up in the famed Sanam Luang Bangkok Park each December when the Thai King has his birthday at which time they celebrate this national holiday so as to honor their beloved King.
The Thai King holds a much anticipated birthday speech each year and the King is known for speaking his mind and having his speech not being affected by political influence of any current government.
The former government of Prime Minister Takshin has been the focus of a recent speech and soon after his government was overthrown during a coup d'etat. .
King Rama IV - King Rama V
The royal Chakri dynasty has held the power ruled Thailand since 1782. King Rama IV and that King's son, King Rama V, has been very popular and beloved Thai King's alongside with the present Thai King, King Bhumibol.
King Rama IV and his son have been credited with the modernization of the Thai Kingdom in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.
Royal Thai King Rama V's changes included for example the 1st hospitals that were available to all people and for building an extensive Thai rail network. More importantly, King Rama IV was also the Thai monarch that finally got rid of slavery which has been a blemish on Thai history.
You can read more about this history of the Thai Royal Family at the authors website. Please visit Thai Kings section of the Bangkok Guide for the remaining half of this article.