Thailand has been enjoying the culmination of a five-day national party to mark King Bhumibol’s 60 years on the throne. Aged 78, he is the world’s longest-reigning monarch, and the gathering of royals from around the globe at a ceremony was a testament to the respect and affection he has earned over the years.
Those attending included Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, King Karl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Sofia of Spain and many others, mainly from Europe and the Middle East. Britain was represented by Prince Andrew. Perhaps the most colourful part of the celebrations was the flotilla of royal barges gliding past to honour the Diamond Jubilee. The fleet was watched by thousands of Thais clad in yellow, the colour associated with Bhumibol’s household. He was propelled to the throne at the age of 18 when Thailand was still called Siam and was emerging from the turmoil of World War Two.