Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on Thursday ending a seven-decade rule during which he became a unifying figure in a country that has weathered more than a dozen coups since he came to power in 1946 aged just 18. He was 88.
A statement from the royal household bureau said Bhumibol, who was the world's longest reigning monarch, "passed away peacefully" at 3.52pm (8.52am BST) on Thursday at Siriraj hospital in Bangkok, reports the Guardian.
Thailand's Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-ocha, later confirmed that the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will succeed to the throne and that the nation will observe a year-long mourning period.
The constitutional monarch has been absent from public life for years and his death throws an already politically turbulent Thailand into a haze of uncertainty that is During the king's rule, there have been close to 20 attempted or successful coups - the last one in May 2014 when a military junta seized power - but the monarchy has remained revered.
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