On June 9, 1946, aged just 18, King Bhumibol ascended to the throne following the death of his brother. He postponed his coronation until 1950 to complete his studies in Switzerland, by which time Thailand was under military rule and the future of the monarchy was shaky. The King, who is also known as King Rama XI, is pictured here on May 5, 1950 at his coronation.

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