The institution of the monarchy in Thailand is in many ways unique. Not only does it have a history going back more than seven hundred years, but it has also managed to preserve its relevance in the contemporary world. A constitutional monarchy since the promulgation of the Kingdom’s first constitution in 1932, the institution today continues to command deep, universal respect and serves as a guiding light and unifying force for the country, a focal point that brings together people from all backgrounds and shades of political thought and gives them an intense awareness of being Thai.
The love and reverence the Thai people have for their King stem in large part from the moral authority His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has earned during his reign, one that involves a remarkable degree of personal contact with the people. At the same time, it is rooted in attitudes that can be traced to the earliest days of Thailand as a nation state and in some of the past monarchs who continue to serve as models of kingship.
Father of the Land
His Majesty used to travel to all corners of Thailand, including its remotest, most dangerous parts, talking with his people, learning their needs and helping them find ways to help themselves in resolving problems and improving their lives. Beyond national boundaries, His Majesty's contributions have been recognised in a multitude of honours, including more than 30 international awards and more than 20 honorary degrees. In 2006, the United Nations awarded him the first United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award, according to the citation, "for his dedication to develop and industriously uplift the living condition of Thai people all through his 60-year reign".
Royal Projects of the King
Since 1952, His Majesty has initiated more than 3,000 innovative agriculture, environment, health, and education programmes to raise the standard of living in Thailand. Although he is considered the wealthiest Monarch in the world, the majority of his assets are invested into community programmes benefiting countless of lives. Through his commitment to the Thai people and his philanthropic actions, he has won the respect and adoration of his people.
Source: Thailand Today. Available at: http://www.thailandtoday.in.th/