Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has been anointed Thailand's next monarch following his father's death, an elevation that would see him become the 10th king in the Chakri Dynasty and inherit control of a fortune that runs to the tens of billions.
The sole son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died Thursday at 88, Vajiralongkorn would replace the only monarch most Thais alive today have known. While his father was beloved over the course of his seven decades on the throne, Vajiralongkorn, 64, has not attracted the same adulation.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said Thursday that Bhumibol had chosen his successor in accordance with the constitution — a reference to Vajiralongkorn. Even so, Prayuth later said Vajiralongkorn requested a delay in proclaiming him king to give Thais time to mourn his father. He also urged people not to use the transition as a pretext to incite unrest, Prayuth said.