Preparations set for Thai prince to succeed to throne

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Thailand is preparing to welcome a new king with final arrangements scheduled to formalize the accession of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to the throne.

The vice president of the National Legislative Assembly said that Assembly President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai will have an audience with the prince on Thursday to invite him to become king, a constitutional formality.

Pornpetch's public announcement of the prince's acceptance, expected Thursday night, will complete the succession process, making the prince King Rama X, the tenth monarch in the Chakri dynasty that was founded in 1782.

Vajiralongkorn's father, the much-revered Bhumibol Adulyadej, who took the throne in 1946, died on Oct. 13 at age 88 after many years of ill health. In 1972, Bhumibol designated Vajiralongkorn — his second child and only son — as his successor.