Thailand has new king after Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, accepted invitation from parliament to succeed his father. His succession comes 50 days after widely loved and revered King Bhumibol died in October, aged 88. Prince Vajiralongkorn will be known as King Maha Vajiralongkorn. He will also be known as Rama X, or 10th king of Thailand's Chakri dynasty. He addressed his people in televised statement on Thursday. He said: "I would like to accept invitation for the benefit of Thai people." Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "May all Thai people unite to pray that…he may long reign as idol and guardian of Thai people."
The coronation of new king will not take place until after King Bhumibol's cremation early next year. The new king was born on July 28, 1952. He went to schools in Australia and UK before doing his military training in Australia. King Maha Vajiralongkorn is widely travelled and has home in Germany. Over past few years, he has undertaken more of his father's ceremonial duties in Thailand when late king was ill and needed medical treatment. He also organized and participated in high-profile events such as cycle rides around Thai capital Bangkok. One of his first acts as monarch will be to endorse Thailand's new constitution that has been backed by Thai people.