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Thai King Vajiralongkorn to be crowned

Thailand has begun three days of coronation formalities for King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

King Vajiralongkorn inherited the throne in 2016 when his long-serving father Bhumibol Adulyadej deceased.

Days ago in a bombshell announcement the palace said the king had wedded his long-term partner and royal associate who would now be Queen Suthida.

Thailand has a constitutional domain, but the royal family is highly respected by Thais and holds substantial power.

Thailand also has severe laws, called lese majeste, which ban blame of the monarchy. The laws have protected the royal family from public view and enquiry.

The coronation comes at a time of political insecurity. A general election was held on 24 March, the first since the army took control in an overthrow in 2014, but a new government has yet to be affirmed.

However, many Thais are eager to witness history, and will be intensely watching the first coronation in almost 70 years.

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