Jump To Bhumibol Adulyadej's Stats
The King that inspired 'The King and I' continues his reign as the monarch of Thailand. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty has calmly sat above the many frays during his 53 plus years as leader of a land some still refer to as Siam. Quietly, according to Forbes, he has also become the wealthiest of the royals with a net worth of $36,502,500,000.
Bhumibol currently operates under a mandate where the folks from his country do not question his birthright. Even though Thailand has gone through at lease three major political upheavals during his tenure, whoever the winning coup ends up to be does so with his blessing – which they ask for. During his reign he has always attempted to address the growing disparities between the rich and the poor.
After taking the throne when his brother was shot under suspect circumstances, King Bhumibol expanded his role as a constitutional monarch without political power into an enormous moral force. Invoking his great wealth of all areas of study, he earned great praise from his constituents through his civic work and political astuteness. Adroitly, he was able to expand the royal family's vast business holdings. With the monarchy at its heart, an elite royalist class grew up including the bureaucracy, the military and entrenched business interests.
Be warned. You don't want to insult this guy. Thailand law makes it a capital offense to insult its esteemed monarch. There are a multitude of instances where folks have tested that issue. None have won. Even two respected international authors who have penned well-written and respectful book about Bhumibol have had their books banned in Thailand. To question the thought process of Bhumibol – although ailing right now – doesn't seem prudent if you are planning to live there.