World's longest-reigning monarch King Bhumibol dies at 88

World's longest-reigning monarch King Bhumibol dies at 88

- Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch dies in hospital on Thursday

- The king who was regarded by many Thais as semi-divine passed away at the age of 88 after 70 years of reign

- His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is expected to be the next king of Thailand

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Photo from IBTimes UK

At the age of 88, the world's longest-reigning monarch Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on Thursday, October 13.

The palace confirmed the announcement stating that he died at 15:52 local time.

"His Majesty has passed away at Siriraj Hospital peacefully," the palace said in a statement.

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Nevertheless, the reason for his death was not disclosed.

Known to many, the king had been in poor health for the past six years. He was re-admitted in May 2015 and the last time he appeared in public was in January.

He was being treated for a a swollen lung, a respiratory infection and a build up of fluid surrounding the brain the previous months.

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Photo from EPA via BBC

On Sunday, the palace revealed that King Bhumibol's health condition was "not stable."

Hundred's of Thai gathered outside the hospital wearing pink hoping to bring good luck while the king was under treatment.

King Bhumibol's 63-year old son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is the heir apparent and is expected to take over.

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On June 9, 1946, the king ascended the throne after his brother King Ananda Mahidol died. He was regarded by Thai people as semi-divine and was seen as a force of unity despite being a monarch with limited powers. He was considered a pillar of stability.

For several years, King Bhumibol was tailored as a national leader through public and ceremonial duties.

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