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(Y 100)

Date: A.D. 1974

Obverse: Portrait facing left - BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ RAMA IX

Reverse: The Garuda - THAILAND BE (Buddhist Era) 2517 1 BAHT

King Bhumibol Adulyadej "the Great" was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 5, 1927. the youngest son of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej he is now known as King Rama IX (King Bhumibol). He was King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016. He ruled for over 70 years and was the longest serving monarch in Thai history.

Unlike most modern constitutional monarchies King Bhumibols position was not just as a figurehead. He had rather clearly defined powers as well as being the most highly regarded leader in that nation. He used his great sway with the Thai people and policymakers as a formidable political power.

His father was a medical student at Harvard University. After he completed his studies, Bhumibol was brought back to Thailand. The crown came to him after the death of his brother King Ananda Mahidol on June 9, 1946. He was still in school so his uncle served as prince regent as he studied law in Europe where he received a degree, found a wife, and lost an eye in a racing accident.

He took the crown in May 5, 1950 with his wife Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakaraas as his queen but in truth he inherited very little real power under the early military dictatorship of General Plaek Pibulsonggram. Soon the people rose to overthrow the dictatorship and a long series of disputes between various military dictators and proponents of democracy would ensue. King Bhumibol more often than not took the side of democracy. Although thousands died in large pro-democracy protests and clashes with police and soldiers, with aid from the king, democracy was eventually restored in 1992.

Along with his royal duties he was also one of the worlds richest men with a value of over 8 billion. he was an accomplished jazz musician and composer who has played jazz music on air and has played with Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Lionel Hampton and Maynard Ferguson. He was also a painter, photographer, an author, a champion sailor, and a designer of sail boats.

Around 2006 his health began to decline and he was often hospitalized until his death on October 13, 2016. He was seen by many as an almost divine figure and a stabilizing or guiding force but he was seen by others as an instrument for oppression towards those who were opposed to the monarchy and the suppression of free speech.

His death was greated with a measure of uncertainty for the future. He was succeeded by his son, Prince Vajiralongkorn who rules as Rama X. Vajiralongkorn is far less popular than his father largely due to his erratic presonality and the well known eccentric and sumptuous lifestyle of he and his wife. A video leaked in 2007 shows him throwing a luxurious birthday party for his poodle while his wife wore nothing but a thong.

Interesting Fact:

King Bhumibol Adulyadej's ceremonial name, according to ancient tradition, is:

Phrabat Somdej Phra Paramindra Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Mahitaladhibet Ramadhibodi Chakrinarubodindara Sayamindaradhiraj Boromanatbophit

Try to say that 3 times fast.