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AP Photos: The path to coronation for Thailand’s king

May 3, 2019
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FILE - In this May 12, 2017, file photo, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn addresses the audience at the royal ploughing ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand. Three days of elaborate centuries-old ceremonies begin Saturday, May 4, 2019, for the formal coronation of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who has been on the throne for more than two years. What Vajiralongkorn - also known as King Rama X, the 10th king of the Chakri dynasty - will do with the power and influence that venerated status confers is still not clear. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

Three days of elaborate, centuries-old rituals beginning Saturday will formally endow Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn with regal legitimacy.

He succeeded to the throne after the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in October 2016.

The 66-year-old Vajiralongkorn faces a challenge in the long-standing comparisons to his hardworking, deeply respected father. He spends stretches of time abroad, so building his standing among Thais will take time.

He participated in two-high profile events in 2015, leading thousands of Thais in mass bicycling events to mark his parents’ birthdays.

He this week confirmed his fourth marriage, to a general in the palace security force now with the title Queen Suthida.