JCA editor-in-chief Kevin Hewison has a viewpoint on the accession of Thailand’s new king. He concludes his article at New Mandala this way:
Behind the palace façade, however, as the late king showed, the throne is a living thing, changed by the incumbent. While there may have been a long succession, we still know relatively little about the prince’s political proclivities, his plans for the throne or his relationship with advisers. We can expect changes in the palace and the way it is managed – indeed the long succession has seen some changes already.
What will be more fascinating is how the prince views his political role and how much he studied and understood his father’s interventionist politics. How that plays out in Thailand’s continuing political crisis could be defining of the reign. The junta certainly wants a secure monarchy. Can the prince deliver, building on the long succession? Or is there to be more tumult for the palace and a return to the broad questions that underpinned discussions of a succession crisis. Interesting times lie ahead.