On December 5, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (read as: Phumiphon Adunyadet), also known as King Rama IX will be celebrating his 87th birthday. King Bhumibol, the heart and the inspiration of the Thai people holds the record of being the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, serving for over 68 years. He ascended his throne on June 9, 1946 and is now the world's longest-serving current head of state.
As the man of the month, let's get to know more interesting facts about him:
* King Bhumibol was born at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the USA registered only as 'Baby Songkla' since his parents - HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla and Princess Srinagarinda had to consult for an auspicious Thai royal name.
* The name Bhumibol Adulyadej means: 'Strength of the Land, Incomparable Power'
* He briefly attended school in Bangkok then continued his education at the Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande in Lausanne, Switzerland after his family's move in 1933. He received the 'baccalaureate des letters' (high school diploma with major in French Literature, Latin and Greek) from Gymnase Classique Cantonal of Lausanne and studied Science at the University of Lausanne.
* The king is into photography and music. He is a jazz enthusiast and plays the saxophone.
* King Bhumibol got married on 28 April 1950, just a week before his coronation, to Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyaka, daughter of the Thai Ambassador to France. They have four children.
* He was crowned King of Thailand on May 5, 1950 at the Royal Palace in Bangkok.
* Although King Bhumibol is sometimes referred to as King Rama IX, Thais refer to him as Nai Luang or Phra Chao Yu Hua (both mean; "the King" or " Lord upon our Heads").
* He is also called Chao Chiwit (Lord of Life) and formally he would be referred to as: Phrabat Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua or in legal documents: Phrabat Somdet Phra Paraminthara Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej and in English His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.